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A noble-souled woman, whose warm-hearted and patriotic 

conduct towards her father's and, subsequently, her 

mother's tenants in Strathglass, under the most 

trying circumstances, first attracted the 

author's attention to her clan, and 

without whose inspiration this 

book would never have 

been written. 



The History of the Chisholms, as given in this 
volume, is not an ambitious work. The materials are not 
extensive, and those available are not of an important or 
stirring character. 

I claim to have disposed of the absurd and ground- 
less contention, so long maintained by the Northern clan, 
that they sprang originally from the Earls of Caithness 
and Orkney, and to have established, on the contrary, 
that they first came to the Highlands from the Scottish 
Borders, and that all the families of the name, north and 
south, can trace their descent to one common ancestor, 
heard of for the first time in Scotland in the county of 
Roxburgh towards the end of the thirteenth century. 

I am indebted to various friends for assistance, but 
above all others to Mr. Colin Chisholm, Namur Cottage, 
Inverness, whose interesting Traditions of Strathglass 
and genealogical storehouse I have freely and profitably 
drawn upon. 

A. M. 

Christmas Day, 1890. 


— :o: 

Title ..... 


Dedication .... 


Preface ..... 


Contents ..... 


List of Subscribers 




of the Family 



John de Chisholme. 



Richard de Chesholme 



Sir John de Cheseholme 



Alexander de Chisholme 



Sir Robert de Chisholme 



Sir Robert de Chisholme 



John de Chisholme . 



Alexaneer de Chisholme 



Thomas de Chisholme 



Alexander de Chisholme 



Wiland de Chisholme 



Wiland de Chisholme 



John Chisholm 



Alexander Chisholm 



Thomas Chisholm 



John Chisholm 



Alexander Chisholm 




XVIII. Angus Chisholm 
XIX. Alexander Chisholm 
XX. John Chisholm 
XXI. Roderick Chisholm . 
XXII. Alexander Chisholm 

XXIII. Alexander Chisholm 

XXIV. William Chisholm . 
XXV. Alexander Willtam Chisholm 

XXVI. Duncan Macdonell Chisholm 
XXVII. James Sutherland Chisholm 
XXVIII. Roderick Donald Matheson Chisholm 
Mary Chisholm 
James Chisholm Gooden Chisholm 


Kinneries and Lietry, The Chisholms of 
Knockfin, The Chisholms of 
Theodore Chisholm's Family 
Muckerach, The Chisholms of . 





















Aitken, Dr., District Asylum, Inverness. 

Balderston, W. H., Esq., Inverness. 

Batten, Major J. Chisholm, Sheffield. 

Biscoe, T. R. , Esq. of Newton. 

Bisset, Duncan J., Esq., Boston, U.S.A. 

Blair, Sheriff, Inverness. 

Brown, William, Esq., Edinburgh (2 Copies and 1 Large Paper). 

Buccleuch, His Grace the Duke of (Large Paper). 

Bunsen, Von, Madame Charles, Germany (Large Paper). 

Burgess, Peter, Esq., banker, Glenurquhart. 

Burns, William, Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 

Byrne, Mrs. W. Pitt, London (Large Paper). 

Cameron, Donald, Esq., Moniack Castle. 
Cameron, D. M,, Esq., merchant, Inverness. 
Cameron, John, Esq., Inverness. 
Cameron, J. A., Esq., M.D., Edinburgh. 
Campbell, J. L. Esq., Broughty Ferry. 
Chisholm, Alex., Esq., Glasgow (Large Paper). 
Chisholm, Alexander, Esq., The Castle, Inverness. 
Chisholm, Alexander A. , Esq. , Marydale, Nova Scotia. 
Chisholm, A. , Esq. , Liverpool (Large Paper). 
Chisholm, Allan, Esq., Mid Crochail, Strathglass. 
Chisholm, yEneas, Esq., Invercannich. 
Chisholm, Archibald A., Esq., Lochmaddy. 
Chisholm, Archibald M., Esq., Ely, Minn, U.S.A. 
Chisholm, Captain Macra, Glassburn, Strathglass. 

XI 1 


Chisholm, Chisholm Gooden, Esq., Assiniboia, Canada (Large Paper). 

Chisholm, Christoper, Esq., San Rafael, California. 

Chisholm, Christopher P. , Esq. , Antigonish, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Colin, Esq., Namur Cottage, Inverness (Large Paper). 

Chisholm, Colin, Esq., London. 

Chisholm, Colin, Esq., Holm Mills, Inverness. 

Chisholm, Colin, Esq. , Marydale, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Colin, Esq., Antigonish, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Colin, Esq., Glasgow. 

Chisholm, Colin A., Esq., Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. 

Chisholm, Colin R., Esq., Montreal, Canada. 

Chisholm, Colonel W., Cheltenham (Large Paper). 

Chisholm, David, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Chisholm, D. H., Esq., Inverness (2 Copies). 

Chisholm, Donald, Esq., Glasgow. 

Chisholm, Donald, Esq., Greenhead, Glasgow. 

Chisholm, Duncan, Esq., Inverness. 

Chisholm, Duncan, Esq., Colorado, U.S.A. 

Chisholm, Duncan D., Esq., St. Andrews, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Duncan G. , Esq,, St. Andrews, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Emilie M., Miss, Namur Cottage, Inverness (Large Paper.) 

Chisholm, Georgina M., Miss, Inverness. 

Chisholm, Helena, Miss, Namur Cottage, Inverness. 

Chisholm, Henry James, Esq., Liverpool (Large Paper). 

Chisholm, James, Esq., M.A., Hamilton, Canada. 

Chisholm, James, Esq., London (Large Paper). 

Chisholm, John, Esq., Edinburgh (Large Paper). 

Chisholm, John, Esq., Glasgow. 

Chisholm, John, Esq., Glasgow. 

Chisholm, John Keith, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Chisholm, Joseph A., Esq., Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Rev. Alexander, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Rev. Angus, D.D., D' Escousse, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Rev. Archibald, Nairn. 

Chisholm, Rev. Colin, Port Hood, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Rev. Donald, P.P., Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Rev. Finlay, Little Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. 

Chisholm, Rev. James, Barra. 

Chisholm, Rev. John J., Heatherton, Nova Scotia (4 Copies). 

Chisholm, Roderick, Esq., Antigonish, Nova Scotia. 


Chisholm, Roderick Gooden, Esq., London (Large Paper). 

Chisholm, Samuel, Esq., Glasgow, 

Chisholm, The, (i Copy and i Large Paper). 

Chisholm, The Very Rev. Hugh Canon, Paisley. 

Chisholm, Theodore, Esq., Inverness? 

Chisholm, Walter, Esq., Hawick (Large Paper). 

Chisholm, William, Esq., Muirtown (2 Copies and I Large Paper). 

Chisholm, William, Esq., Inverlochy Castle. 

Chisholm, William, Esq., Caledonian Bank, Inverness. 

Chisholme, Mrs. Scott, Brighton (Large Paper). 

Chisholme, The Misses Scott, Edinburgh. 

Clark, D., Esq., Courier Office, Inverness. 

Cook, James, Esq., merchant, Inverness. 

Cran, John, Esq., Kirkton, Bunchrew. 

Douglas & Foulis, Messrs, Edinburgh (4 Copies). 
Duncan, Colonel P., Brighton (Large Paper). 

Elliott, Andrew, Esq., Edinburgh (2 Copies). 

Fergusson, Sir James, baronet, Kent (Large Paper). 
Fraser, Alexander, Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 
Fraser, Duncan, Esq., Ballifeary, Inverness. 
Fraser, Ex-Provost, Inverness. 
Fraser, Robert, Esq., Brackla. 

Gray, Mrs. Dwyer, Dublin (2 Copies). 

Hall, P. W., Esq., Lanarkshire. 

Hilton, James, Esq., F.S.A., London (Large Paper). 

Jenkins, Rev. Canon, Kent (Large Paper). 
Jenkins, R. P., Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 

Kegan Paul, French, Triibner & Co., Messrs., London. 

Lambert, F., Esq., Junr. , Surrey (Large Paper). 
Lambert, Miss, London. 

Macandrew, Sir H. C, Inverness. 
Macbain, Alexander, Esq., M.A., Inverness. 
Macdonald, Alexander, Esq., Stratherrick. 
Macdonald, Alexander, Esq., Millerton. 


Macdonald, Andrew, Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 

Macdonald, Donald, Esq., Park, Nairn. 

Macdonald, Ewen, Esq., Water Manager, Inverness. 

Macdonald, Kenneth, Esq., Town Clerk, Inverness (Large Paper). 

Macdonald, Lachlan, Esq. of Skeabost (i Copy and i Large Paper). 

Macgillivray, Alex., Esq., London. 

Macgillivray, Angus, Esq., Banister, Antigonish. 

Mackay, John, Esq., C.E., J. P., Hereford (Large Paper). 

Mackay, William, Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 

Mackenzie, Donald, Esq., Fasnakyle. 

Mackenzie, Dr. F. M., Inverness, 

Mackenzie, Dr. M. T., Scolpeg, North Uist. 

Mackenzie, H. Rose, Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 

Mackenzie, John A., Esq., burgh surveyor, Inverness. 

Mackenzie, Mrs. James H., Inverness (2 Copies). 

Mackenzie, W. Dalziel, Esq. of Farr (Large Paper). 

Mackenzie, William, Esq., Ardgowan, Inverness. 

Mackenzie, William, Esq., Caberfeidh House, Inverness. 

Mackintosh, Charles Fraser, Esq. of Drummond, M.P. (Large Paper). 

Mackintosh, Duncan, Esq., Inverness. 

Maclean, Major Roderick, Inverness. 

Macleod, John, Esq., H.M.I, of Schools, Elgin. 

Macnee, Dr., Inverness. 

Macrae, Rev. Angus, South Uist. 

Macritchie, Andrew J., Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 

Malcolm, George, Esq., Invergarry. 

Matheson, Dr. F., London. 

Middleton, R. M., Esq., London (Large Paper). 

Mitchell Library, The, Glasgow. 

Munro, David, Bailie, Inverness. 

Napier and Ettrick, Right Hon. Lord, K.T. 

Noble, John, Esq., Inverness (2 Copies and 1 Large Paper). 

North, C. N. Macintyre, Esq., London. 

Ross, Alexander, Esq., Inverness. 
Ross, James, Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 
Ross, Provost, Inverness. 

Skues, Brigade Surgeon William Mackenzie, London. 


Stewart, James, Esq., Dalkeith House. 
Stuart, John, Esq. of Kishorn (Large Paper). 
Stuart, Mrs., of Dalness (Large Paper). 
Sutherland, George Miller, Esq., Wick. 

Thin, James, Esq., Edinburgh (3 Copies). 
Thomson, James, Esq. , Gas Manager, Inverness 
Trinder, Mrs. Arnold, Surrey (Large Paper). 

Wilson, Mrs. A. Chisholm, Edinburgh. 
Wyllie & Son, Messrs. , Aberdeen. 



THERE has been much controversy between members of 
the Clan and among - antiquarians regarding- the origin 
of the Chisholms. Some have maintained that they were 
of native Celtic descent, and that the Strathglass Chisholms 
originally migrated from Caithness, though those who 
uphold this theory differ among themselves as to how 
they came to that county, and how the name first origin- 
ated. Others have maintained, with greater reason and 
historical accuracy, that the progenitors of the northern 
Chisholms came from the south of Scotland, and are the 
direct representatives of the Roxburgh family, which can 
be traced without much difficulty, first to England, and 
thence back to a Norman source ; while the Caithness 
theory can be shown to be purely fabulous. The family 
can be traced back for more than six centuries and a half 
through an unbroken descent in Scotland, although the 
records of the northern families have hitherto been much 
clouded and confused by the fictitious origin and early 
annals which the native chroniclers have invented for 
them. These and the genealogists of the seventeenth 
century — following the example of the Earl of Cromarty 
in the case of the Mackenzies, and of the other inventors 
who, from similar unpatriotic motives, drew on their 
imaginations for a foreign ancestry for most of the High- 
land clans — fabricated an impossible Norwegian origin 



for the Chisholms, a family which will be proved to have 
possessed, for nearly six hundred years, extensive landed 
estates not only in Inverness-shire, but in the counties of 
Perth, Moray, Nairn, Ross, Sutherland and Caithness. 
What these lands were, how they were first procured, and 
in what manner the greater portion of them were finally 
lost, will be seen in the sequel. It will also be shown, 
from official documents preserved in the public records, 
from family charters and other deeds, that the theory of 
a Caithness origin is pure fable, and that the heads 
of the Strathglass family can be deduced without a break 
as the chiefs of all the Chisholms, north and south, from 
the first appearance of the name in the thirteenth century 
on the Scottish Borders to the present day. 

Of the alleged Caithness origin no trace is found in 
any authentic document known to exist. Towards the 
end of the fourteenth century the Chisholms of Strath- 
glass certainly did become connected with, and acquired 
lands in both the counties of Sutherland and Caithness 
through marriage, and it is probably in that connection 
that the confusion about their northern origin afterwards 
arose. What that connection was will appear as the real 
history of the family proceeds, and the actual facts are 
brought into view. In the meantime, however, the Caith- 
ness fable must be given, so that the reader may judge 
of its character for himself. The best, and most ingeniously 
stated version, though the author himself expresses dis- 
satisfaction with it, is set forth in a manuscript by the 
late James Logan, author of the Scottish Gael. In the 
course of the narrative, which is printed in his own words, 
Logan quotes Sir Robert Gordon's Earldom of Sutherland ; 
but Sir Robert, as everyone who knows him admits, is 
no guide where he is not supported by others, and no 
independent contemporary authority makes any mention 
of Chisholm as a clan name in connection with the events 
described by him. Mr Logan's version is in the following 
terms : — 

" The antiquity of the Clan Chisholm in the Highlands 


of Scotland has been, by some late writers, very unaccount- 
ably "disputed, to them the name appearing to justify a 
Norman descent, an origin of which many families are 
justly proud. In this case it seems to me a mere con- 
jecture ; for those who hold that opinion cannot prove to 
us where the Chisholms first settled in Scotland, and the 
Roll of Battle Abbey, which contains the names of all 
who came over with the Conqueror does not exhibit any 
one under this appellation. In the history of Scotland 
and Orkney, Harald, the reputed founder of the Clan, is 
stated to have been a branch from the Royal stock of 
Norway, and certainly ' Gall-thaobh,' the appropriate name 
of Caithness, meaning the side or Country of the Strangers 
in contradistinction to ' Cat-thaobh,' the original appella- 
tion given to Sutherland, would favour a supposition that 
the Chisholms appearing there must have been of foreign 
extraction ; but can it be shown that Harald brought a 
clan or a sufficient following with him who bore the name 
when they arrived on those shores, assumed, or received 
it, on their arrival ? As the northern invaders who re- 
mained in the country necessarily incorporated themselves 
with the natives, adopting their names and manners, it is 
much more probable that the Scandinavian leader, by 
force or by fear — perhaps by means of both — obtained 
the lands and leadership of the people of the county, 
and became distinguished by their appellation as a sur- 

" In a question of this nature, etymology often affords 
valuable assistance, and its application effects the solution 
of many difficulties otherwise insurmountable. Its applica- 
tion here may not serve so usefully as could be desired ; the 
real derivation of the name eludes our researches ; the 
uncertainty respecting remote origins is great. The true 
appellation of the Thane of Caithness is not settled, for 
it is indifferently given as Harald and Guthred. The 

* This idea assumes that "the people of the county" — of Caithness — 
were already known as Chisholms, a proposition for which no foundation 
whatever exists. 


Chisholms of the north were never known in their verna- 
cular tongue by any other designation than " An Siosalach," 
i.e., 'The Chisholm,' emphatically as the Chief. Siosalach 
Straghlais (Chisholm of Strathglass) never being called 
' Siosalach nan Siosalach ' (Chisholm of Chisholm), which 
is now the customary translation. This is not only incon- 
sistent with the idiom of the Gaelic, but is, besides, improper, 
there being no place called Chisholm in this country, * 
and the name being unknown, whereas on the border of 
the Kingdom there is a property so designated by a 
Saxon word, imposed perhaps a thousand years ago by 
the people whose language was altogether foreign to the 
Highlanders, and has hardly yet approached the country 
of the Chisholms. 

" The Norman ' de ' was at first applied to proper 
names with exact propriety, for some individual, the founder 
of a family, must have imparted a designation to his relatives 
and followers. Personal appearances, or qualification, and 
local position were the obvious reasons for individual 
distinctions — in the latter case ' de ' was the fitting article, 
and in the former " le " was required. Chiefs who hold 
no territorial possessions are now discriminated by the 
use of the distinctive article 'the' and a repetition of their 
names, as Mackinnon of Mackinnon, Macnab of Macnab, 
etc., and a similar mode of address has also fallen into 
use where its necessity does not exist, as Macleod of 
Macleod, Mackintosh of Mackintosh, and others. This 
is, however, a practice unknown among the proper Gael, 
and arose from the Scottish manner of designating pro- 
prietors by their holdings, as Arnot of Arnot, Balmanno 
of Balmanno, or Scotiee, that Ilk, an easy and effective 
mode of particularising individuals where so many are 
found bearing the same name. When the Chiefs and 

* The designation would, however, be quite correct so long as the 
family remained the Chisholms of Chisholm in Roxburghshire, and is 
so now of the representative of the family who owned that original pos- 
session of the Clan, but not of the Chisholms of the north, the proper 
designation for them being undoubtedly the Chisholms of Strathglass. 


' ceanntigh,' or gentlemen, employed ' Writers,' in Edin- 
burgh and elsewhere to manage their affairs by process 
of law, these persons, ignorant of Highland usage, adhered 
to the same style and gave a sanction to the mistake. 

" Chesholme is a Saxon word, descriptive of a locality, 
and many such names are found in England, as Chese- 
ham, Chesbury, Chesworth, Cheswick, Chesnut, Cheshurst, 
and others. Chesholme, or Chisholme, then is unknown 
in Gaelic, and is supposed to be the English translation of 
Siosal (Cecil, Seisylt). Whence then did this name arise, 
and what is its import ? Conjecture may be made where 
the subject is so obscure, and an attempt permitted at a 
solution without the confidence of having made a success- 
ful guess. The final syllable ' al ' found in so many Gaelic 
words signifies young, or progeny of any kind, and hence 
a race or generation ; thus we have Con-all which, with 
the plural termination 'ach,' makes the race of Con. If 
the latter syllable is disposed of the prefix requires ex" 
planation, and it is not certainly so apparent. ' Sios ' is 
lower, beneath, or east, and may not the Chisholms have been 
called Sios-al, the lower or eastern race, by their country- 
men who occupied the higher or more westerly districts ? 
If the etymology given to Argyle (Aira-Gael), which 
makes it imply the Western Gael, be correct, we have a 
notable example of such a method of local distinction.* 

" A Gaelic etymology for the designation of a Gaelic 
tribe, powerful at the earliest epoch of historical record, 
is surely more reasonable than to adopt a Saxon or 
Norman deduction. It is submitted that such a deriva- 
tion is entitled to equal or better credit than many of 
the fabulous origins assigned to families by monkish 
chroniclers and the degenerate bards of later ages. It 
must at least appear from what has been said, and from 

* Logan does not seem to have been aware that while the Gaelic- 
speaking inhabitants of the East Coast speak of the east, the direction in 
which their rivers flow, as ;< sios," the Highlanders of the West Coast 
reverse the process and call the west, "sios," down or downwards. Argyle, 
according to our author's argument, would thus be " sios " also. 


the history which follows, that the original seat of the 
Chisholms was not so ' probably in Roxburghshire.'* 

" The Chisholms of the south had indeed some notion 
that they were of the same race with those of the north, 
and it would appear there did exist a certain connection ; 
but this, no doubt, arose in consequence of finding a 
considerable clan bearing a name which, given through 
the English language, was the same as their own. The 
conjecture amongst families or similar approximate names, 
that they are all descended from, or once were of, an 
identic stock is so natural that it is found, even now 
that the age of clanship is gone, almost invariably to 
prevail. This much is to be observed : all the well-informed 
Chisholms of the south acknowledge the Chisholm of 
Strathglass as their undoubted chief." 

In that acknowledgment the " well-informed Chisholms 
of the south " are certainly correct. Logan proceeds — 

" Leaving the less important subject of etymology, 
which may appear more curious than satisfactory, we 
shall proceed to the history of the ' race and name ' of 
Chisholm, as preserved among themselves and illustrated 
by details of the national transactions in which the clan 
bore a share. In this pursuit the narrative must neces- 
sarily be supplied chiefly from the family records of the 
Chisholms, who as successive chiefs held the patriarchal 
rule when a body of followers who, if not so numerous 
as some neighbouring tribes, were firmly knit by kindred 
ties — resolute and independent — happy and devoted as 
ever clan who owned the sway of their natural lords, and 
rendered to them the cheerful homage of affectionate 

" Harald or Guthred, Earl or Thane of Caithness, 
Orkney and Shetland, appears to be the first of this 
family on record, and however he may have acquired the 
addition of Chisholm, he possessed great influence in the 

* In this, as in other respects, Logan will be shown to be altogether 


north. His power was much increased by marriage with 
the daughter of Mached or Madach, Earl of Athol, the 
last male descendant of Donald Ban, sometime King of 
Scotland. Holding Orkney and Shetland from the King 
of Norway, and being vassal to the Scottish monarch for 
the distant Thanedom of Caithness, living also in times 
when feudal rights were loosely observed, and with dif- 
ficulty enforced, collision with either superior was scarcely 
to be avoided. He began therefore to raise serious 
disturbances, and in the year 1 196, instigated by his wife, 
whose descent would foster a restless spirit of rebellion, 
he broke out in open insurrection, committing many 
atrocities. William the Lion, then King of Scotland, 
found it necessary to lead an army against him, when he 
succeeded in dispersing the insurgents, but their spirit of 
disaffection was not easy to be subdued. Next year 
(1197), they again took up arms under Torfin the son of 
Harald, and one Roderick, when the Royal forces once 
more encountered them near Inverness, where they were 
routed with great slaughter, and Roderick was among the 
slain. William thus victorious, marched northwards in 
pursuit of Harald, who, being captured, was imprisoned in 
the castle of Roxburgh, where he remained until his son 
Torfin surrendered himself as a hostage for his father's 
future obedience. 

" Freskin, the progenitor of the Earls of Sutherland 
at that time Sheriff of Inverness-shire, was of much 
service in apprehending Harald and his adherents, for 
which he was rewarded by the southern division of the 
county of Caithness, from that time said to have acquired 
the Saxon name of Southern or Southerland. Harald 
was no sooner at liberty than, smarting under the severity 
of his imprisonment and greatly irritated at the dismem- 
berment of his territories, he again rebelled, and his 
unhappy son paid a heavy penalty for the father's offence 
— his eyes were put out, and he was left to perish 
miserably in his dungeon ! The ferocious chief ravaged 
the country, and, highly incensed with John, Bishop of 


Caithness, whose only crime appears to have been a 
strenuous defence of the liberties of the Church, and 
a strict exaction of his Episcopal dues, he assailed him 
in his house at Halkirk, and burned or slew him with 
circumstances of great cruelty. For these outrages he 
was again pursued by King William, and falling into his 
hands, received final retribution for his multiplied offences 
by undergoing an ignominious punishment and excruciat- 
ing death ; a fate which the leading men among his followers 
likewise underwent. 

" The details of those proceedings are given by Sir 
Robert Gordon in his History of the Earls of Sutherland, 
with characteristic minuteness and simplicity. ' Herald 
Chisholm, or Herald Guthred, Thane of Catteyness (he 
says), accompanied with a number of scapethrifts and 
rebells (so the Historie calleth them), began to exercise 
all kynd of misdemeaners and outrages ; which uncivil 
people, incensed with want and hatred do not usuallie omitt, 
by invading the poor and simple with cruell spoillings ; 
these rebells having ravaged abroad in Catteyness, and 
not being satisfied with what they had done there, they 
turn their course towards Sutherland. Earl Hugh speedilie 
conveined some of the inhabitants of Southerland and de- 
fended that countrie from their furie. Whereupon Harald 
reiurned agane into Catteynes, and being offended at 
John, Bishop of Catteynes, for defending the liberties of 
his Church, and staying him from obtaining what he had 
desired from the King in prejudice of his Bishoprick, he 
apprehended Bishop John — pulled out his tung and both 
eyes, then killed him most cruellie. King William coming 
out of England, the yeir of God one thousand one hundred, 
thrie score and eighteen, wher he had been for that tyme, 
and hearing of this cruell and barbarous fact, he pursued 
Herald with most of his complices, even unto Dunsby in 
Catteynes, and apprehended them. He commanded exact 
justice to be done, lege talionis. Herald had first his eyes 
pulled out, then he was gelded, and lastlie he was 
publiclie hanged. All his whole linage and familie were 


in lyke manner used, and their blood utterlie extinguished, 
leist any succession should spring from so detestable a 
seid." He then quotes Boece XIII. and adds, 'the rest 
of the offenders, his followers, were all diversely punished 
to the terror of others : all of them, both chieftain and 
servants, had a competent and ignominious death de- 
servedlie drawn on by demerite.' 

This terrible visitation, continues Logan, was a shock 
from which the race of Harald seem never to have re- 
covered. It was apparently the cause of dispersing a great 
portion of the inhabitants, the forfeiture of whose Chief 
and proscription of his posterity as Thanes of Caithness, 
left them in that country without a natural head, the 
estates being conferred on Magnus, son of the Earl of 
Angus, a stranger. It is not at all probable, he correctly 
enough adds, that so complete an extermination took 
place, as Sir Robert Gordon relates. "'There is,' says 
the learned and acute Lord Hailes, ' an obscurity in our 
historians concerning the Earls of Caithness which I am 
unable to dispel. It is the opinion generally received, 
that Alexander II. granted the Earldom of Caithness to 
Magnus, second son of Gillebreid, Earl of Angus, in 1222. 
This is scarcely consistent with the story I have just 
recited ; the only solution of the difficulty which occurs to 
me is this : that Harald, Earl of Caithness, had been for- 
feited in the reign of William the Lion — that the Crown 
had divided the estates and given Southerland to Freskin, 
Sheriff of Inverness, 1204, but that the old family retained 
possession, whereby the grants remained for a season 
ineffectual' " 

" This certainly appears the only conclusion," continues 
Logan, " and it may serve to account for the relation of 
peerage writers, that Adam, who succeeded Bishop John, 
was put to death by John who possessed the Earldom in 
1222. It seems incredible that two successive prelates 
should be slain by nobles, one of whom acquired his posses- 
sions by the forfeiture of the other, and that one's deepest 
crime being the sacrilegious slaughter of the first Bishop. 


" It is very probable that the settlement of the Clan 
Siosal in the county of Inverness, is to be dated from 
the period of the rigorous persecution to which they were 
subjected, and, as was the case with the Macpherson 
branch of the Clan Chattan and some others, they re- 
treated from the scene of their misfortunes and resolved 
to maintain their independence within the fastnesses of 

"There is a traditional legend of their having first 
received their lands in Inverness-shire by a Royal Grant, 
as a reward for having saved the life of one of the Scottish 
Kings, who was attacked while hunting by a furious boar. 
This savours much of genealogical fable. [And so it is.] 
A similar tale is given to account for the deer's head 
which is the heraldic bearing of the Mackenzies, and the 
Forbeses acquired the bear's head, which is their cog- 
nisance, from a successful grapple with one of those 
unsightly animals. The armorial devices borne by families 
are not always to be received as genealogical proof of 
origin or descent. The popular tradition is that two 
brothers determined to destroy a ferocious boar which 
kept the whole Strath in constant terror, and having 
discovered his den, one of the men, as the animal was 
about to attack him, thrust his hand down its throat, and 
dragging out the tongue and stomach, his companion 
exclaimed " Si salaich," meaning that he had made a 
filthy grasp. From this comes Si'sal, and the brothers 
became the armorial supporters. f 

" That the Clan Siosal was powerful at an early period 
is evinced by their alliance being sought by Sir Robert 
Lauder of Quarrelwood, an influential nobleman in the 
north, who gave his daughter and heiress in marriage to 
the Chief, anno 1334. Lauder was constable of the im- 

* This " probable " retreat from Caithness, and the settlement in 
Strathglass, described by Logan, will be shown by charters and other 
documents to be absolutely groundless. 

f Tradition still points out the place in Glenconvinth where this combat is 
said to have taken place. 

ORIGIN. 1 1 

portant fortress on the north bank of Loch-ness, called the 
Castle of Urquhart, from the valley in which it is situated, 
and he resolutely defended it against the faction of Baliol. 

" This is," Logan admits, " the first well authenti- 
cated intimation of the Chisholms being established in the 
locality which they have retained until this day (1840), a 
period of more than 500 years. The names indeed of 
1 Richard de Cheschelm del Count de Roxburgh' and 'John 
de Cheshome ' in the county of Berwick are in the bond of 
fealty to Edward I. of England, more familiarly known as 
' Ragman's Roll,' but if the reasoning in a foregoing page 
is just, these individuals could not have been of the 
Gaelic Siosals. Some of the clan in the north might 
have been induced to attach their signatures to this deed, 
did not their distance and mountain security protect them 
from the degradation ; for, as it was the policy of Edward, 
and an object of great anxiety, to swell the list of those 
who appeared willing to acknowledge him as their liege 
lord, the signatures of a great many appeared in this 
remarkable deed who were of incomparably less importance 
than the Laird of Chisholm must have been at the close 
of the 13th century." 

Thus far the Logan manuscript has been closely fol- 
lowed. That its author was wrong in adopting the 
Caithness theory of the origin of the clan will be con- 
clusively proved. It is indeed quite clear from several 
incidental remarks of his own that even Logan himself was 
conscious of its impossibility and absurdity. But the 
necessary documents by which to establish the continuous 
connection of the Chisholms of the north with those who 
had in the eleventh century settled on the Scottish borders, 
and which show how they gradually acquired and ultimately 
lost the greater portion of their Highland possessions, 
were not so accessible when Logan wrote his brief and 
imperfect memoir * as they are now. His historical 

* The History of the Clan Chisholm, being Genealogical and Historical 
Memoirs of the Chiefs and Cadets of this Ancient Highland Family, drawn 
up by James Logan, F. S.A. Sc, Cor. mem., S.A. Normandy, etc., etc., 


account of the principal family is scrappy and meagre, 
and his genealogy is, in many particulars — several genera- 
tions being altogether omitted — incomplete and inaccurate. 
It is, however, in many respects suggestive, and contains 
a number of useful facts and dates mixed up with not a 
few more calculated to lead astray than guide the unwary. 

The late John Scott Chisholme of Stirches, writing to Mr. 
Augustus C. Mackenzie of Findon, ridicules the Caithness 
origin of the family, and effectually disposes of it in the 
following terms. Referring to a writer who maintained 
that origin for all the Chisholms, Mr. Scott Chisholme 
says : — " Had he left to me the Border barons, and the 
bishops, I would have made him welcome to prove, if he 
could, that the Comar family are descended from Harald> 
Thane of Caithness, Orkney, and Shetland, who married 
the daughter of Mudac or Machead, Earl of Athol, the 
last male descendent of Donald Ban, King of Scotland, 
but I decline the honour of having such Royal ancestry 
thrust upon me, either by him or the reveries of Sir 
Robert Gordon, specially because Boece and other his- 
torians affirm that William the Lion hanged Harald, put 
out the eyes of his only son, Torphin, after causing him 
to be cruelly mutilated, and emasculating every male of 
his race, a procedure on the part of that monarch so 
inimical to my existence from such a source that I prefer 
the more humble Norman origin in which I have been 
taught to believe, substantiated as it is by indisputable 
written evidence." This argument, all rational people will, 
it is believed, accept as absolutely conclusive. 

Skene, discussing the same subject and specially referring 
to the Chisholms of Strathglass, says : — " Few families have 
asserted their claim to be considered as a Gaelic clan with 
greater vehemence than the Chisholms, notwithstanding 
that there are few whose Lowland origin is less doubtful. 
Hitherto no one has investigated their history, but their 
early charters suffice to establish the real origin of the 
family with great clearness. The name Chisholme does 
not occur in Battle Abbey Roll, so there is no distinct 


authority to prove that the name is actually Norman, but 
their documents distinctly show that the name was intro- 
duced from the Low Country into the Highlands. Their 
original seat is in Roxburghshire, as we find the only person 
of the name who signed Ragman's Rolls is Richard de 
Chisholme del Counte de Rokesburgh, and in that county 
the family of Chisholme still remains. Therefore their 
situation, with the character of the name itself, seems with 
sufficient clearness to indicate a Norman origin." 

We shall now proceed to trace the Chisholms, step by 
step from their first recorded appearance in Scotland to 
the present day. 

The first of the name of whom any record is found in 
Scotland had his seat in the western district of the county 
of Roxburgh, formerly included in the Old Deanery of 
Teviotdale and Diocese of Glasgow. Malcolm, the his- 
torian, says that the Chisholms " came soon after the 
Conquest, a.D. 1066, from Tindale in England. The 
original name," he proceeds, " is said to have been ' De 
Chese,' to which the Saxon termination ' holme ' was added 
on the marriage of the Norman ancestor with a Saxon 
heiress, whose lands, from situation, were so-called." In 
the early records the name is written de Cheseholme, later 
de Chesehelme vel Chesholme, and eventually Chisholm 
as we now have it. The earliest document extant in which 
mention is made of the name, and relating to the family, 
is a bull of Pope Alexander IV., in which John de 
Chisholme is named in the year 1254. This 


Married Emma de Vetereponte or Vipont, daughter of 
William de Vetereponte, Lord of Bolton, who grants him 
as a marriage portion a charter of the lands of Paxtoun, 
with the fishing of Brade-la-Tweed, in the county of 
Berwick, along with the pendicles in the village of Paxtoun 
and the fishings and pertinents thereunto belonging. In 
this charter the parties are described as John de Cheseholme 
and Emma de Vetereponte, his spouse. The Viponts or 


Vetrepontes are now quite unknown even in the traditions 
of Tweedside, although, like the Vesis, the Moreviles, the 
Normanviles, and several other prominent families of that 
age, their forefathers ruled there as Princes. By his 
wife, Emma de Vetereponte, John had issue — 


Described as " Del Counte de Rokesburgh," who married, 
with issue — 

i. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Alexander, forfeited at the same time as his brother, 
Sir John, along with Adam de Paxtoun.* 

Richard was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Designated as " Del Counte de Berwyke," whose name is 
attached to the Bond of Fealty to Edward I. in 1296, known 
as Ragman's Roll. This Sir John, however, afterwards 
joined Robert Bruce and fought under his banner in 1314, 
at the battle of Bannockburn, where his kinsman Sir 
William de Vetereponte was slain. In consequence of the 
part Sir John de Chesholme took on this glorious occasion 
his estates were forfeited by Edward II., who bestowed a 
considerable portion of them on Ranulphus de Holme, 
and on Sir Robert de Manners, ancestor of the Dukes of 
Rutland, who obtained from the English King two parts 
of the town of Paxtoun, and one-third of the Royalty of 
Bradewater on the Tweed. In a mandate, dated at York, 
the 1 8th of April, 13 17, and addressed to his "beloved 
James de Broughton, Chamberlain of Scotland," Sir John 
is described by Edward II. as "our Scottish enemy and 
rebel."! Three years later, in 1 320, some of his posses- 
sions w'ere restored to Sir John by a charter from King 
Robert the Bruce, who is said to have granted him in 
addition several lands which had been forfeited by the 

* Rotuli Scot. 10 Edward III. f Rot. Scot. 2 Edward II. 


Cummins in the county of Nairn. He married and had 
issue — 


Who is described as " Lord of Chisholme in Roxburgh 
and Paxtoun in Berwickshire." His name appears in a 
disputed case about fishings in the Tweed in 1335 as 
" Alexander de Chisholme of that Ilk."* 
He married, with issue, a son and successor, 


Described as one of the " Magnates of Scotland." He 
fought and was taken prisoner at the battle of Neville's 
Cross, or Redhill, Durham, on the 17th October, 1346.! 
This Sir Robert de Chisholme married Anne, daughter 
and heiress of Sir Robert Lauder of Quarrelwood, Con- 
stable of Urquhart Castle, on Lochness. He is the first 
of the name of which any trace is found in the North of 
Scotland, and it will be shown that from him are descended 
all the Chisholms of the north. There were certain church 
lands, in the vicinity of Castle Urquhart, which, on the 6th 
of December, 1344, being the feast of St. Nicholas, were 
granted by John, Bishop of Moray, to Sir Robert Lauder. 
These lands were afterwards possessed by Robert de Chis- 
holme. In 1345 there is a grant of them in his favour 
by John Randolph, Earl of Moray, probably on the occa- 
sion of Chisholme's marriage to Anne, Sir Robert Lauder's 
daughter and co-heiress. Sir Robert Chisholme's son 
subsequently, in 1386, resigned them in favour of Alex- 
ander, Bishop of Moray, who immediately disposed of 
them to Alexander, Earl of Buchan, the " Wolf of Bade- 
noch." Both charters are given at length on page 33 of 
Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh's Invernessiana. By the first of 
these interesting documents, dated at Elgin in 1334, Bishop 
John has " given, granted, and in feu farm demitted, to 
the noble person Sir Robert de Lawadyr, Knight, for his 

* Rohili Scotiae, 342 and 402. f Foedera, 20 Edward III. 


manifold services done to our said Church, a half davoch 
of our lands of Aberbreachy (Abriachan) lying between 
the barony of Bonach (Bona) on the east on the one side, 
and the barony of Urchard on the west on the other, 
together with our lands of Achmunie, lying between the 
lands of Drumbuie on the east on the one side, and the 
land of Cartaly on the west on the other, within the barony 
of Urchard foresaid, with the pertinents : To be held and 
had by the said Sir Robert and his heirs of us and our 
successors for ever, with their rights, marches and divisions, 
freely, quietly, fully, peacefully, and honourably," etc., etc., 
for which Sir Robert and his heirs were taken bound to 
pay to the Bishop and his successors, four merks sterling 
per annum, in two equal instalments, at the accustomed 
terms, in lieu of every other exaction, service and demand. 
In the charter of 1386 granting the same lands to Alex- 
ander Buchan, Bishop of Moray, the lands are described 
in identical terms, "which lands," Bishop Alexander says, 
" with the pertinents, Sir Robert de Chishelme, Knight, 
lord of that ilk, held of us in chief, and he, induced neither 
by force nor fear, nor deceived by error, but by pure and 
spontaneous free will, did give up and purely and simply 
resign into our hands by staff and baton, the foresaid lands 
with the pertinents, and all rights and claims which he, 
the said Knight, or his heirs had or could in future have 
in the said lands, with the pertinents." It will be observed 
that the Sir Robert Chisholme who possessed these lands 
in Abriachan and Glenurquhart, is in this last quoted 
charter described as "lord of that ilk," or in other words, 
the head of his house. 

The same Sir Robert Chisholme refused to pay multures 
for his lands of Quarrelwood to the prior of Pluscardine, 
who appealed to the Bishop of Moray, and, in April, 
1390, his lordship issued a monition to Sir Archibald 
Douglas, in which it is set forth that " the mulctures of 
the lands of Quarrywood, in the Sheriffdom of Elgin, at 
that time (King Alexander's) unimproved, but now reduced 
to cultivation, belongs and appertains to the mill of Elgin 


from which it is scarcely a mile distant." The mills of 
Elgin and Forres, and other mills depending - on them, 
had been gifted to the priory by " Alexander, King of 
Scotland, of pious memory." The monition pleads un- 
disturbed possession, with the full knowledge and tolerance 
of Robert de Chisholme, Knight, during the preceding 
reigns, and " further asserts and declares that the said 
Robert had seized and bound a certain husbandman of 
the lands of Kindrassie, to whom the prior had by con- 
tract let the said mulctures, and thrown him into a private 
prison, by which he (Sir Robert) directly incurred the 
sentence of excommunication." The civil judges are in 
the same document threatened with similar punishment 
if they interfere in the dispute or question the pretensions 
of the ecclesiastical courts to determine the rights of the 
parties in the quarrel. On the 16th of the same month, 
Sir Thomas, the prior, records a solemn protest against 
Sir Robert de Chisholme's proceedings. The two, however, 
seem to have continued on the most friendly terms, for 
on the ist of May following they both witness a charter 
by John of Dunbar, Earl of Moray, in favour of the town 
of Elgin, by which the Earl granted to that burgh in all 
time coming the ale of assize which belonged to him as 
constable of the Castle of Elgin. 

By his marriage with Anne, daughter and heiress of 
Sir Robert Lauder of Quarrelwood, Sir Robert de Chis- 
holme had issue — 

i. Sir Robert, his heir and successor. 

2. William de Chisholme, a churchman, and Treasurer 
of Moray, whose name is mentioned in 1371 in an "Appeal 
to the Pope on the part of the Abbot of Aberbrothoc 
against the process before the Bishop regarding the tithes 
of the Church of Inverness," and in which he is described 
as " the venerable and discreet man Master William de 
Chesholme, Treasurer of Moray."* He is mentioned as 
attesting a sentence of reconciliation in a document dated 
2nd November, 1389, in which Thomas de Chesholme 

* Invernessiana, p. 73 


along with Robert, Earl of Sutherland, and Alexander de 
Moravia of Culbin, become security for the good behaviour 
of the Wolf of Badenoch towards his wife, Lady Euphemia, 
Countess of Ross,* the suit being " restituenda marito suo." 
Between "the years 1360 and 1398 there appear in record 
John of the Ard, Subchanter of Moray, William of Ches- 
holm, Treasurer, and Thomas of Chesholm, a person of 
some consequence at the time, all by birth apparently 
connected with the families of the Ard."f Under the 
designation of " William de Chesholm Clericus," he ob- 
tained a safe conduct (" salvus conductus ") to pass into 
England in 1364 with two horses and three com- 
panions, and in the following year a similar liberty is 
granted to him with permission to remain one year along 
with four companions for the purpose of study. £ In 1371 
his name appears in an appeal respecting the tithes of 
the Church of Inverness, and in 1375, described as " cir- 
cumspectus vir," a considerate person, he is appointed to 
officiate as procurator to the Bishop " de bladis terrarum 
de Cathboll," or to recover the corn lands of Cadboll from 
pledge or wadset. On the iSth of July, 1378, he sub- 
scribes a charter by Bishop Alexander to John Forbes ot 
the lands of Kinrossie. On the 2nd of September, 1393, 
he is one of the witnesses to the execution of a solemn 
deed and restoration of all the rights and immunities of 
the Domus Dei, or God's House, a foundation for the 
necessitous, by Alexander of Dunbar, brother german to the 
Earl of Moray. In 1399 his signature is found attached 
to a deed respecting the tithes due from the burgh of 
Elgin. He must have lived to a very ripe old age. 

Sir Robert was succeeded by his eldest son by his wife 
Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Lauder of Quarrelwood — 


In 1358, the Justices of the King, of whom Robert de 
Chisholme, described as Lord of Chisholme in Roxburgh- 

* Invemessiana, p. 87. t Origines Parochialcs Scotiae, p. 5 r 5- 
\ Rotuli Scotiae, 1. 892. 


shire and Constable of the Castle of Urquhart on Loch 
Ness, was one, remits a fine to Alexander de Chisholme.* 
This Alexander appears to have been Sir Robert's second 
son who afterwards succeeded to the Chiefship and estates 
on the death of his elder brother John without male issue, 
and who by his marriage with Margaret de la Ard acquired 
the Erchless portion of the Bisset property and other 
extensive estates in the North. 

Sir Robert is said to have been appointed to the offices of 
Constable of Urquhart Castle and Sheriff of Inverness-shire 
in 1359 by David II., by whom he was knighted in 1357. 
On the 8th of April, 1359, "Lord Robert de Chesholme, 
Sheriff of the county of Inverness, gave in his accounts, 
with all his expenses and receipts from Martinmas, 1357."! 
He granted six acres of land to the Holy Rood of the 
Church of Inverness, for the benefit of the poor of 
the parish, by deed, dated the 14th September, 1362, being 
the feast of the Holy Rood. In this deed he describes 
himself as " Robert de Chesholme, Knight, and Lord of 
the same." The lands are still partly in possession of the 
Kirk Session of the parish, and are known as Diriebught, 
or Tir nam bochd — the lands of the poor. The deed is 
in the Inverness charter chest, and is in excellent pre- 
servation, with Sir Robert's seal attached fresh and entire. 
It is printed at length by Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh,$ be- 
ginning thus: — "To all who shall see or hear of this 
charter, Sir Robert de Chesholme, Lord of the same, 
wishes eternal salvation in the Lord ; since it is known 
to all that all flesh returns into dust, and that there is 
nothing after death except He who is the true safety 
and who redeemed the human race on the cross." Then 
follows a description of the lands, which he grants " for 
the salvation of his own soul, and the souls of his ancestors 
and successors, for making an increase of divine worship 
forever to the altar of the' Holy Rood of Inverness." The 
charter is witnessed, among others, by Thomas de Fenton 

* Chamberlain's Accounts, Vol. I., p. 381. t Chamberlain's Rolls, 1359. 
% Invemessiana, pp. 62-63. 


"Alderman" of the burgh, and "Weland Shishlach," the 
exact phonetic equivalent of our Gaelic " Siosalach " of to- 
day, who is described as a burgess of Inverness. In a 
deed dated 1364, Sir Robert speaks of his grandfather, after 
whom he has himself apparently been named, as Sir 
Robert Lauder of Quarrelwood. This conclusively estab- 
lishes his father's marriage to Quarrelwood's daughter ; 
and the fact that he succeeded to all his maternal grand- 
father's property in the counties of Inverness, Nairn, and 
Moray, clearly proves that his mother was Sir Robert 
Lauder's only child and sole heiress. 

This Sir Robert Chisholme designates himself in a docu- 
ment, describing the proceedings of a court held at Balloch 
Hill, near Inverness, in connection with these lands, and 
dated the 25th of January, 1376, as "Robert de Ches- 
helme, Lord of that Ilk, Justiciary of the said Regality of 
Moray."* His name appears four years later, in a 
Protest by the Bishop and clergy of Moray in opposition 
to claims made at that time by the Wolf of Badenoch to 
the superiority of the Bishop's church lands in Badenoch. 
The document is dated nth October, 1380. The Bishop 
makes protest that, "we lately, in the month of August 
last past, in the Church of St. Mary of Inverness, before 
our Lord the King and the illustrious men the Lords, 
the Earls of Carrick and Fife, sons of our Lord the King, 
and Lord and Earl of Moray, the reverend father in 
Christ, Lord John, by the Grace of God Bishop of Dun- 
keld, Chancellor of Scotland, John Lyon, Chamberlain 
of Scotland, Thomas de Erskine, Robert de Cheshelm, 
Knights, and many others, disclaimed you Lord Alex- 
ander and your consort, and acknowledged our Lord 
and King, (then follows the description of the lands in 
question) and we deny that we hold these lands of you."f 

King Robert II. during his visit to Inverness in 1382 
granted to his son, Alexander, Earl of Buchan, the Wolf of 
Badenoch, a charter of a half davoch of the lands of 

* Invemessiana, p. 63. 

t The document is printed in extenso pp. 80-82 of Invemessiana. 


Invermoriston with the fishing and park, a fourth part 
of Blairy, three fourth parts of Incheberrys, with a fourth 
part of Lochletter, and one-fourth of Dalshangy, with the 
pertinents, within the Sheriffdom of Inverness, which lands, 
with the fishing and pertinents foresaid, belonged to Robert 
de Chisholme, Knight ; and which the said Robert gave 
up and resigned to the King. In a deed dated at Elgin on 
the 23rd of February, 1386, he is again described as "Sir 
Robert de Chishelme, Knight, Lord of that Ilk." In the 
same year he voluntarily resigned the lands of Abriachan 
and others in Inverness-shire into the hands of the Bishop 
of Moray, which lands were afterwards granted to Alexander, 
Lord of Badenoch, in feu ferm.* In August of the same 
year "Robert de Cheshelme, dominus ejusdem," is a witness 
on an inquisition regarding the lands of Aldrochty, and 
on that occasion he appends his seal to the deed. On 
the 30th of August, 1393, he appended his seal to a 
mort ancestry award, finding that John Sibbald is the 
rightful heir to the lands of Aldrochty and others. 

Sir Robert de Chisholme married Margaret, daughter 
of Haliburton of that Ilk, County of Berwick, with issue — 

1. John de Chisholme, his heir. 

2. Alexander de Chisholme, who, on the death of his 
brother John without male issue, succeeded to the Chief- 
ship and Highland estates. 

3. Robert, who is said to have succeeded to the original 
lands of the family in Roxburghshire and to have become 
progenitor of that branch of the house of Chisholme. 

4. Janet, who, in 1364, married Hugh Rose, IV. of 
Kilravock. The marriage contract is dated 2nd of January 
in that year, and is witnessed and sealed by the Bishops 
of Ross and Moray, and by William, Earl of Ross and 
Lord of Skye. 

To this Hugh Rose, IV. of Kilravock, who married 
Janet Chisholme, the author of the history of that family 
makes the following reference — " I finde him mentioned 
in a contract matrimoniall betwixt him and Joneta de 

* Register of the Great Seal, p. 176, No. 39> 


Chesholme, daughter of Sir Robert Chesholme, Constable 
of the Castle of Urquhart. He was also Chesholme of 
that Ilk, and in right of his mother, daughter of Sir 
Robert Lauder, succeeded to Quarrelwood, Kinsterie, 
Brightmannie, etc. This contract, because it is Kil- 
ravock's originall right of his lands in Strathnairn, and 
through the character, contractions, and bad ink, is scarce 
legible already, therefore I have here transcryved it." He 
then quotes it at length in the original Latin.* We give 
the following translation of the portion which, along with 
the preceding quotation from the manuscript history of 
the family of Kilravock, proves that the Sir Robert de 
Chisholme who owned so much land in the Highlands, 
and was Constable of Urquhart Castle, was also Sir 
Robert Chisholme of that Ilk, and head of all the Chis- 
holms, north and south :— 

The present indenture bears witness that, on Thursday, the 2nd 
of January, in the year of grace 1364, there was an agreement made 
at the Church of Auldearn, between the noblemen, Sir Robert Chis- 
holme, keeper of the Castle of Urquhart, on the one part, and Hugh 
Rose, Lord of Kilravock on the other part, as follows — that is to 
say, in the first, the said Hugh Rose shall marry Janet, daughter 
of the said Robert, for which marriage the said Sir Robert shall 
give to the said Hugh, and the heirs begotten between Hugh him- 
self and the foresaid Janet, ten merks of land of , with 
all its pertinents within Strathnairn, and in case that the said lands 
do not amount to ten merks, the said Sir Robert shall give to the 
said Hugh as much of the land nearest to it as shall amount to the 
said ten merks, and all this shall be done to the sight and satis- 
faction of worthy men. It is also fully agreed upon between the 
said parties that from the day of the celebration of the said marriage, 
the said Sir Robert shall keep and entertain his said daughter for 
three years in meat and drink, but the said Hugh shall find and 
keep her in all the needful garments and ornaments. It is also 
agreed that if the said Hugh and Janet shall live beyond a com- 
plete year after their marriage, the said Hugh shall brook the said 
land for his lifetime, but in case the said Hugh shall decease (which 
God forbid) without heirs of his body begotten between him and 
the said Janet, and in that case, the said lands shall return into 
the hands of the said Sir Robert and his heirs, after the decease 

* See pp. 36-38 Family of Rose of Kilravock. 


of the said Hugh, and to the part of this indenture remaining with 
the said Hugh the seal of the said Sir Robert is attached along 
with the seals of the reverend Lords, by the grace of God Bishops 
of Moray and Ross, and of the high and noble man William Earl 
of Ross and Lord of Skye ; and to the part of this indenture remain- 
ing in the possession of the said Sir Robert the seal of the said 
Hugh Rose is attached, along with the seals of the same reverend 
Lords, the Bishops of Moray and Ross, and also of the said William 
Earl of Ross and Lord of Skye. Given and done on the day and 
year and in the place foresaid. 

In this indenture a peculiar custom of the time is 
found recorded. Sir Robert Chisholme, the lady's father, 
agrees to keep and entertain his daughter from the date 
of her marriage " for three years in meat and drink," 
while her husband is only to " find and keep her in all 
needful garments and ornaments " during the same period. 

Sir Robert de Chisholme was succeeded by his eldest 


Designated " de la Ard," or of the Aird. He is re- 
peatedly on record during his father's lifetime. We find 
him described in the reign of Charles II., by Sir George 
Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, Lord Advocate of Scotland, in 
his notice of the family of Chisholme, as "John Chisholme 
of that Ilk in the shyre of Roxburgh." In 1389 he 
receives a grant of the lands of Lower Kinmylies, near 
Inverness, from Alexander of the Isles, Lord of Loch- 
aber. These lands were at once claimed by William 
Bishop of Moray, who, on the 20th of November in the 
same year, issued a warning against their occupation by 
" John de Chisholme de la Airde," and charging him to 
quit claim, and to restore the Church's patrimony.* He 
is again mentioned in that year as " John of Cheshelm 
of the Arde/'t On the 24th of April, 1420, he granted 
a charter, to his relative, John Rose, VII. of Kilravock, 
of the lands at Cantrabundy and Little Cantray. 

He married Catherine Bisset, daughter of Bisset of 

* Invcrnessiana, pp. 93-94. t Register of 'Mo?~ay, p. 211. 


that Ilk, in right of whom he succeeded, on the death 
of her father, to a portion of the Bisset lands in the 
Aird. By this lady he had issue — an only child, Morella, 
who married Alexander Sutherland, Baron of Duffus, 
grandson of Nicolas Sutherland, second son of Kenneth 
Earl of Sutherland, who was killed at the battle of 
Halidonhill in 1333. In right of Morella Chisholme, Alex- 
ander Sutherland obtained the following lands of Chisholme 
— Quarrelwood, Clunie, and Clova, in Moray ; Paxtoun in 
Tweedale, Kinsterrie in Nairnshire, and other extensive 
possessions. She is on record in T424. From this 
marriage the house of Duffus is said to carry the addi- 
tion to their armorial coat armour, azure a boar's head 
erazed, or. Dovach, a daughter of this union, married 
Dunbar of Westfield, who, in her right, succeeded to 
the lands of Clova and Clunie in Moray, which his wife 
had inherited through her mother, Morella Chisholme. 

If further proof be required that Sir Robert de Chis- 
holme of Quarrelwood, and Constable of Urquhart Castle, 
who came from the south and settled in the Highlands 
early in the fourteenth century, was at the same time 
progenitor of the Chisholms of Strathglass and the head 
of the Chisholmes of the South, it will be found in the 
documents after given. The lands which he then un- 
doubtedly possessed on the Borders, as well as several 
of his estates in the counties of Inverness, Moray, and 
Nairn, are shown by these summonses and pleadings, 
quoted below, to have been carried on her marriage by 
Morella Chisholme, only child and heir of line of his 
successor, John de Chisholme "de la Ard," or of the 
Aird, to her husband, Alexander Sutherland, Baron of 
Duffus, whose family inherited them after his death. In 
the first summons, William Sutherland, Alexander's suc- 
cessor, is described as " of Duffus and Quarrelwood, heir 
and successor to the umquhile Sir Robert Chisholme of 
Quarrelwood," and the lands of the two Cantrays and 
others conveyed by Sir Robert Chisholme to Hugh Rose 
of Kilravock, as the dower of Sir Robert's daughter, 


Janet, on her marriage to Kilravock in 1364 are referred 
to in the same connection. In the second summons, 
Christian Sutherland, wife of the late William Urquhart 
of Berriedale, in Caithness, is also described as " heir 
and successor to the umquhile Sir Robert Chisholme of 
Quarrelwood." The pleadings, which are endorsed the 
20th of April, 15 12, are still more conclusive. In them 
most of the Chisholme lands, north and south, are men- 
tioned. Christian of Sutherland, lady of Berriedale, is 
shown to be the grand -daughter of Alexander Suther- 
land, laird of Duffus, who " married Muriel (Morella) of 
Chisholme, daughter and heir to umquhile John of Chis- 
holme of all and whole his lands" of Chisholme and Paxton, 
in the South ; Quarrelwood and Greshop, in Moray ; 
Kinsterrie in Nairn, and Brightmony, " the Clune, Clava, 
and the half of Ouchterurquholl and the overlordship of 
the two Cantrays and the other half of Ouchterurquholl," 
in the county of Inverness. "Christian Sutherland, lady 
of Berriedale, is heir of line to follow and pursue the 
lands of Chisholme in Teviotdale, together v/ith the lands 
of Paxton and other lands of which she is the very heir 
to," while " William Sutherland, now laird of Duffus, may 
never have entry to the said lands of Chisholme (in Teviot- 
dale) nor to any pertinents thereof but to so much as his 
said grandame, Muriel of Chisholme, gave to him in her 
widowhood by resignation." This is conclusive. 

The first summons, which is as follows, bears the 
messenger's execution upon William Sutherland " at his 
dwelland place of Duffus," on the 15th day of July, 

" James .... charge William Sutherland of Duffus and 
Quarrelwood, heir and successor to the umquhile, Sir Robert 
Chisholme of Quarrelwood, Knight, to compear before us and our 
Council at Edinburgh, or where it shall happen us to be for the 
time, the 8th day of August next, to come, if it be lawful, and 
failing thereof, the next lawful day thereafter following, in the hour 
of cause, with continuation of days, to answer at the instance of 
our lovite Hugh Rose of Kilravock, heir and successor to the 
umquhile Hugh Rose of Kilvarock, his grandsire, to hear him be 


decerned by the decreet of our Lords of Council, to warrant, 
acquit, and defend to the said Hugh, as heir and successor to the 
said umquhile Hugh, his grandsire, the lands of the two Cantrays, 
and the half of the lands of Uchterorquhoil with the pertinents, 
lying within our sheriffdom of Nairn, after the form and tenor 
of the charter and infeftment made by the same umquhile Sir 
Robert Chisholme's predecessor, to the said umquhile, Hugh's 
grandsire, and his heirs, with clause of warrandice inserted in the 
same, like as the said charter and infeftment more fully purports, 
and also to make the said lands free of all recognition made of 
the same in our hands, to be enjoyed by the said Hugh as heir 
aforesaid, after the tenor of the said infeftment in time to come, 
etc. Given under our Signet at Elgin, the ioth day of June, 
and of our reign the 23rd year." 

The second summons is served upon Christian Suther- 
land, lady of Berriedale " at her duelland place of Ald- 
weke," on the same day. 

" James .... greeting. Our will is and we charge you, 
that you peremptorily summon, warn and charge Christian Suther- 
land, the spouse of the umquhile William Oliphant of Berriedale, 
heir and successor to the umquhile Sir Robert Chisholme of Quarrel- 
wood, knight, etc. Given under our Signet at Elgin, the ioth 
day of June, and of our reign the 23rd year." 

The pleading has no title, but is endorsed "anno, etc., 
VcXII years, the 20th day of April," and commences with 
the pious invocation : — 

" Jesus, Maria." 
" Item, where it is alleged that Christian of Sutherland lady of Berrie- 
dale, that she has no entry, nor her forbears, lairds of Duffus, in the 
Chisholme's lands of Chisholme and Quarrelwood, nor to no other 
lands that might pertain to them ; the contrary of that is well 
known, for her grandsire Alexander of Sutherland, laird of Duffus, 
married Muriel (Morella) of Chisholme, daughter and heir to um- 
quhile John of Chisholme, of all and whole his lands of Chisholme, 
Paxton, Quarrelwood in Moray, the Greschip, Brechtmont, Kinsterry, 
the Clune, Clava, and the half of Ouchterurquholl and the over- 
lordship of the two Cantrays, and the other half of Ouchterurquholl ; 
to the taking the forsaid Alexander gave of the forsaid Muriel's lands, 
pertaining to her in heritage, to Sir Alexander Dunbar of the West- 
field knight in marriage with his daughter and the said Muriel's lands 
of Clune, Clava, and the half of Ouchterurquholl, with their per- 
tinents. And also the said Alexander Sutherland wadset the lands 


of Greschip, and took upon them twelve score marks and gave that 
in marriage to another daughter of his called Dovach Sutherland 
with umquhile Alexander Ross, son and heir to the laird of Balna- 
gown in Ross. And also the said Alexander Sutherland gave in 
wadset to John Nicolson, burgess of Forres, the lands of Brouny- 
scruk and the Milnfield, pertaining to the said Muriel in heritage. 
And also the said Christian Sutherland, lady of Berriedale, is heir 
of line to follow and pursue the lands of Chisholme in Teviotdale, 
together with the lands of Paxton and other lands of the which 
she is very heir to ; and William of Sutherland, now laird of Duffus, 
may never have entry to the said lands of Chisholme nor to any 
pertinents thereof but to so much as his said grandame, Muriel of 
Chisholme, gave to him in her widowhood by resignation. And by 
this reason the foresaid Christian of Sutherland as heir foresaid, 
ought to free, relieve, and keep the baron of Kilravock scaithless 
and to relieve him at the King's hands, and all others, of his lands 
of the two Cantrays and the half of Ouchterurquholl, with their 
pertinents, after the form of the charters and evidences made by 
her forbears to him and his forbears thereupon."* 

On the death of John de Chisholme de la Aird, in 
1436, without male issue, he was succeeded in the re- 
maining lands belonging to the family in the Highlands 
and as head of the house by his next brother, 


Who married Margaret, described as " Margaret de la 
Ard and Lady of Erchless," daughter and heiress of 
Weyland of the Aird, by his wife, Matilda, eldest daughter 
and co-heiress of Malise Dei indidgentia Earl of Strath- 
erne and jure usoris Earl of Orkney and Caithness, by 
his wife, Isabella, eldest daughter and co-heiress of John, 
Earl of Orkney and Caithness, by his wife, a daughter 
of Patrick Graham of Lovat and the Aird. Margaret of 
the Aird is mentioned in an indenture dated at Kinrossy, 
in the Barony of Cullace, Perthshire, in 1403, and in 
the same document her son, Thomas of Chisholme, is 
also named. She had a brother Alexander, designated 
"de la Ard," who was alive in 1375, and was made 

* General Register of Deeds, Vol. 40S. Contract recorded on the 3rd 
November, 1628. 


Captain of Orkney by the King- of Norway. This 
Alexander, of the Aird, had in right of his mother, 
Matilda, eldest daughter of Malise, Earl of Stratherne, 
Caithness, and Orkney, succeeded as Earl of Caithness, 
but he subsequently resigned the title and the lands 
belonging to the earldom to King Robert II. 

The male line of the Earl of Orkney failed in the 
person of Magnus the Fifth, and a new race, sprung 
from a female branch, succeeded to that dignity, who 
were not only natives of Scotland, but internally connected 
with that Kingdom. For several centuries in those days 
this Earldom had made a conspicuous figure in the annals 
of the North, not only on account of its territory, but 
for the spirit of its rulers and people, and its respectable 
and splendid connections. Besides Orkney, which was 
always considered as the centre of operation, and the 
seat of government, where the court and little parliament 
were kept, the laws enacted and justice administered, it 
contained not only Zetland, but the counties of Ross, 
Sutherland, and Caithness, and had rendered tributary 
the Hebudse, which were for sometime subject to its 
dominion. Moreover, the ancient Counts that so long 
held it, were all of them men of high rank, and some 
of them of the most splendid talents. They were con- 
nected by ties of blood with all the monarchs that then 
ruled the North, and in the retinue they kept at home, 
as well as in the force they carried abroad, they had 
much more the appearance of sovereigns than of subjects. 

The learned author of the History of Orkney says 
that Magnus the Fifth, the last of the Norwegian 
Earls, left an only daughter who " was marrried to 
Malise, Earl of Stratherne, in Scotland, who probably 
enjoyed the Earldom in right of his wife without 
question, as no formal investiture seems either to have 
been sought or obtained. A claim, however, was made 
for this purpose, by one Malise, in all probabilty a 
son of that marriage, and a caveat entered to secure 
the revenues in the country till he had time to 


take the steps that were necessary for obtaining - what 
he considered his right. This Malise, who was also 
Earl of Stratherne, had been twice married, first to a 
daughter of the Earl of Menteith, by whom he had a 
daughter of the name of Matilda, afterwards married to 
Weyland de Ard. By his second wife, who was a 
daughter of the Earl of Ross, he had four daughters, the 
eldest of whom was married to William St. Clare, Baron 
of Roslin," whose son, Henry, afterwards succeeded to 
the Earldom. " Weyland de Ard had, by his wife, 
Matilda, a son named Alexander, who inherited the 
Earldom of Caithness and a certain proportion of 
Orkney, in right of his mother ; but he alienated the 
former to Robert the First, King of Scotland, and after 
he had resigned his share, and been governor of the 
latter only for a short time, he died without children, 
A.D., 1369."* Other writers place his death as late as 1376. 

The following references will help to clear up many 
difficult and obscure points regarding the connection of 
the Frasers and Chisholms of the Aird and Strathglass 
with the county and Earldom of Caithness: — In 1296 
Edward I. ordered John of Warren, Earl of Surrey, his 
warden of the Kingdom of Scotland, to cause to be de- 
livered to Andrew Fresel, who was about to go into 
England beyond the Trent, a hundred marks of the 
dowry of his wife in Caithness for the maintenance of 
himself, his wife, and family. The Andrew Fresel here 
mentioned was Sir Andrew Fraser, son of Sir Gilbert 
Fraser, Sheriff of Stirling, and the first of the name 
who settled in the North. f The King further ordered 
that all the lands and tenements which were of his wife's 
dowry in Caithness should be restored to Sir Andrew for 
the same purpose. 

In 1330 we find recorded "the complaint of Symon 
Fraser and of Margaret his wife, and one of the heirs 
of the Earl of Caithness, concerning the earldom of 

* The History of Orkney, by the Rev. George Barry, D. D. 
t Anderson's Family of Fraser, pp. 33-35. 


Caithness, dated at Kinross, on the 4th of December 
in that year. This Simon was the son of Sir Andrew. 
He fell at the battle of Halidon Hill in 1333, about the 
same time that Malise, Earl of Stratherne, became Earl 
of Caithness. This Earl Malise married Johanna, daugh- 
ter of Sir John, Earl of Menteith, who was dead in 1329. 
The offspring- of this marriage, was a daughter, Matilda. 
In 1334 Malise styles himself "Earl of the earldoms of 
Stratherne, Caithness, and Orkney." In 1345 he for- 
feited the earldom of Stratherne. King David thereupon 
granted it to Maurice Murray, but Malise still " retained 
the earldom of Caithness, which was inherited by his 
daughter Matilda, and afterwards by Alexander of Ard, 
her son by Weland of Ard." 

In Bishop Tulloch's manuscript we are informed " that 
Alexander of Ard, by the law and custom of the 
Kingdom of Scotland, succeeded in right of his mother 
as heir to Earl Malise of Stratherne, in the principal 
manor or mansion of the Earldom of Cathanes, and 
held it with the right and title of earl, and enjoyed also 
by the same right a perticate or quantity of the lands 
of Orkney, and acted as bailie and captain of the people 
on the part of the King of Norway." 

In 1375 Alexander of the Aird sold or resigned to 
King Robert II. the earldom of Caithness, and the 
principal manor, with the title of earl and the other 
rights belonging to him by the law and custom of 
Scotland, in right of his mother as the eldest daughter 
of Earl Malise. These included lands in Banff, Suther- 
land, and Orkney. In the same year King Robert 
granted to his own son, David Stewart, who, in 1 371, 
had been created Earl Palatine of Stratherne, the castle 
of Brathwell (Brawl), its lands, and all the other lands as 
well in Caithness as in any other part of Scotland in- 
herited by Alexander de la Aird, in right of his mother, 
Matilda de Stratherne, and a few years before resigned by 
him.* And thus the short connection of the family of the 

* Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol. II. pp. 806-808. 


Aird and of their Fraser and Chisholm descendants with 
Caithness seems to have for ever terminated. But it lasted 
long enough to become the basis of the theory that the 
Chisholms came originally from that county to Strathglass, 
and of the mass of fable to which it has given rise among 
the genealogists and chroniclers of the family. Alexander 
of the Aird appears not only to have resigned the 
earldom of Caithness, but his lands in Banff, Sutherland, 
and Orkney, and about the same time to have resigned 
his possessions in the Aird to his sister Margaret, and 
her husband, Alexander Chisholme ; for some twenty years 
earlier William of Fenton, Lord of Beaufort, Hugh Fraser, 
Lord of Lovat, and Alexander of Chisholme are found on 
record as the three portioners of the Aird. 

Referring to these events Edmund Chisholm Batten 
says: — "Alexander del Ard had been induced in 1376 
to resign to the King the davoch of Garthyes in Suther- 
land, part of the earldom of Strathern, which he inherited 
as the son of Matilda de Strathern. Afterwards he was 
appointed custodier of the earldom of Orkney by the 
King of Denmark in a deed given by Torfseus, and died 
without issue. Margaret del Ard, probably his sister, was 
anxious to recover these lands,f and consequently she 
entered into the contract, to be hereafter described, with 
Angus of the Isles on his marriage with her daughter, 
styled " Margaret the young " of the Aird. 

But who was this Margaret de la Ard, or of the Aird, 
and what family did she belong to ? This is a question 
which cannot with absolute certainty be answered. In 
all the private pedigrees of the Chisholms in which any 
reference is made to her, she is said to be a Fenton. This 
has not been proved. The female representatives of the 
Fentons continued to possess their third of the ancient 
inheritance of the Bisset lands in the Aird long after this 
period, and so did the female representatives of the 
Grahams, who carried their third to the Frasers of Lovat 
in 1367. John Bisset had died in or about 1259, leaving 

f The Priory of Becrnly, pp. 94-95. 


three daughters and co-heiresses — each of whom inherited 
and carried to their respective husbands a third of the 
Bisset lands in the Aird. 

Marie, or Muriel, the eldest, married Sir David de 
Graham, by whom she had a son, Patrick Graham, who 
died without male issue. His mother, who, as her second 
husband, married Fraser of Lovat, carried her portion of 
the Bisset lands to the Lord of Lovat, whose repre- 
sentatives possess them at the present day. Cecilia, the 
second, married William de Fenton ; and the youngest, 
Elizabeth, married, first — Rose of Kilravock, and secondly, 
Andrew de Bosco, Lord of Redcastle.* 

Andrew de Bosco died before 1291, leaving a son and 
heir, John de Bosco, who, along with John Bisset, is 
mentioned in Grace's Annals of Ireland as coming in 
Edward Bruce's time with the Scots to Ulster. At Inver- 
ness, in the year 1327, Elizabeth, the daughter of this 
Sir John de Bosco, and wife of Alexander de Strevelyn, 
released in favour of the Roses any claim she had to the 
lands of Kilravock. In 1332-33, Nelo de Carrick and 
Johanna his wife, and in 1349, Joneta, a widow, the 
daughter and one of the heirs of the late Sir John de 
Bosco, both execute a similar release in favour of Rose 
of Kilravock; and "we shall see hereafter," says Mr. 
Chisholm Batten, "the third of the barony of the Aird, 
which must have belonged to Elizabeth de Bosco, belong- 
ing to the family del Ard."f 

Harold the son of Donald of the Aird — " Haroldo filio 
Dofnaldi del Ard" — is one of the witnesses to a charter 
by Cecilia Bisset, widow of William de Fenton, of her 
third of the lands of Altyre, near Beauly, to God and 
the Blessed Mary, and John the Baptist, and the brethren 
of Valliscaulians serving God in the Priory of Beauly, 
for the salvation of her own soul and the souls of her 
ancestors and successors. The charter is not dated, but 
it is supposed to have been granted about 131 5. Another 
charter by Patrick de Graham of his third of the lands of 

* Kilravock Papers, pp. 27-2S. f Priory of Beaidy, p. 67. 


Altyre to the House of Beauly, dated about 1325, is wit- 
nessed, along" with several others, by Lord William de 
Fenton, and John de Fenton, his son, "Johanne filio 
Christini de le Ard " — John, son of Christin or Christian 
of the Aird, and the same Harold, son of Donald of the 
Aird, who witnessed the charter of the same lands by 
Cecilia Bisset ten years before. William de Fenton, Lord 
of Beaufort, successor to the William de Fenton who 
married Cecilia Bisset, grants a charter dated at Beau- 
fort on St. Valentine's Day, 1328, to the Priory of 
Beauly, of two merks out of the Mill of Beaufort. 
Among the witnesses are " Domino del Ard Milite ; 
Alexandra Pylche Vicomite de Innernyss ; Haroldo filio 
Dofnaldi " de la Ard, and several others. 

Regarding these names Mr Edmund Chisholm Batten 
writes: — "The name of Christian del Ard, whose son John 
witnessed Patrick Graham's charter, and whose name was 
borne by Donald, whose son Harald witnesses the charter 
and also Cecilia Byset's, introduces us to a puzzle in the 
history of the north of Scotland. The name ' del Ard ' 
first occurs in the 'Ragman Roll.' In 1296, William 
Fitzstephen de Ard, of the county of Inverness, swears 
fealty to King Edward I. The same year Christian del 
Ard, then a simple esquire, is taken fighting against that 
King at the disastrous battle of Dunbar, and sent with 
others, knights and esquires, a prisoner to Corfe Castle, 
in Dorsetshire, on the 5th June, where he was allowed 
threepence a day by the Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset 
for his maintenance. The spectacle of the blue waters 
of the English Channel in the summer time must have 
chafed the spirit of the fighting Scottish esquire ; and 
on Hugh, son of Earl William of Ross, coming into 
England in 1297, Christian, not improbably got free with 
Earl William, and served Edward I. At all events, on 
Edward I.'s march to Scotland, Christian del Ard and his 
companion, Hugh de Ross, ask of the King a grant of 
the lands which they hope the King would take from 
his rebellious subjects ; and it is strange, as we find 



Christian del Ard and Alexander Pylche together as 
witnesses to this charter of William de Fenton, that 
Christian should, in 1306, have fixed upon, not only the 
lands of Laurence and Strathbogie, but also those of 
' Alexander of Pylche, burgess of Inverness,' as his 
chosen possessions. Whether at this time Christian had 
any lands in Inverness, near that belonging to Alexander 
Pylche, does not appear; but in 1361 a perch of land is 
given to a chapel in a charter in the ' Register of 
Moray,'* as lying between the land, which John, the son 
of Hugh, held of Christian de Ard on the south on the 
one side, and the land of William Pylche to the north 
on the other. In 1322,! the Abbot of Arbroath granted 
to Sir Christian de Ard, Knight, the lands of Bught, 
within the parish of Inverness, at a rent of four merks of 
silver, and under the obligation to build houses sufficient 
to enable the Abbot to find in them a hall, chamber, and 
kitchen for his use when he visited Inverness. A counter- 
part of the charter is said to be left with the monks, with 
the seal of the said Sir Christian, which he then used, 
and with the new seal of his arms. But he afterwards 
appears under another name. In Robertson's ' Index,' 
among charters of 16 Rob. 1. (1322), the charter of 
Deskford is to Christian de Ard, Knight; but the actual 
charter, which is printed in the ' Collections relating to 
the shire of Banff,' is granted in 1325 to Sir Christian 
de Forbes, Knight. In 1329 the 'Register of Arbroath' 
mentions him as Christian del Ard, Knight. It does not 
appear what became of his son, John, who was a witness 
to Patrick de Graham's deed. John de Forbes is the 
first of the name mentioned in contemporary documents ; 
this is in 1307. There is no authority for the earlier 
Forbes of the peerage books. Fergus de Fothes is not 
an ancestor ; Fothes and Forbes are two different places. 
The story of Alexander de Bois defending Urquhart Castle 
against Edward I., and being killed, and his son being 
saved, and becoming the first Forbes suggests the family 

* Register of Moray, p. 305. f Register de Aberbrothock, Vol. I., p. 305. 


originating from the de Bois or de Bosco family, and this 
identity of Christian del Ard and Christian de Forbes, 
when connected with the fact that Margaret del Ard 
afterwards possessed the third of the Byset property, 
which had belonged to Elizabeth Byset, the wife of 
Andrew de Bosco, may lead to the discovery of the real 
origin of the family of Forbes."* 

It is thus almost certain that the family of De Bois or 
De Bosco, of Eddyrdor or Redcastle, on acquiring by 
marriage a third of the Bisset lands, immediately opposite 
the Aird, came to be known and described as " De la 
Ard," or of the Aird, and that Margaret de la Aird, who 
carried these lands to Alexander Chisholme on her marriage 
to that chief, was a De Bois or De Bosco. There is also 
the important fact brought out by Mr. Chisholm Batten — 
that the "Christian de Ard" of 1322 is the "Sir Christian 
de Forbes, Knight" of 1325; and the suggestion that 
the Alexander de Bois, who defended Urquhart Castle 
against Edward I., may have been the first Forbes 
deserves consideration as a factor in this inquiry ; for, 
according to the traditions of the district, the lands after- 
wards acquired by the Chisholmes in the Aird and in 
Strathglass were originally possessed by the Forbeses. 

In this way an obscure problem in genealogy hitherto 
inexplicable may possibly be solved. And further light 
is thrown on the point by the following facts — Between 
the years 1362 and 1372, William, Earl of Ross, ex- 
changed with his brother Hugh of Ross, lord of Phylorth, 
and his heirs his lands of Argyle, which then included 
Kintail, Strathglass, and several parishes in Wester Ross, 
with the Castle of Eileandonain, in exchange for Hugh's 
lands in Buchan. Hugh died without issue and his 
brother, Earl William, re-acquired these lands. On his 
death, Philorth and Strathglass were carried by his daugh- 
ter Johanna to her husband, Fraser, afterwards known as 
Lord of Philorth, progenitor of the family of Saltoun. 
In 1423 William Forbes of Kinaldie married Agnes, 
* Priory of Beauly, pp. 84-86. 


daughter of Fraser of Philorth, to whom she carried as 
dowry the barony of Pitsligo, and the Forbes possessions 
in Strathglass, which afterwards, in 1455, are found in- 
cluded in the barony of Pitsligo. In 1524, Isobell 
Wemyss, Lady of Pitsligo, released her terce of these 
lands to her son, John Forbes of Pitsligo, who has a 
charter dated the 20th of December, 1536, of Easter and 
Wester Aigais, with the island of the same name, which 
formed part of his Strathglass lands, and which he at once 
deponed to Hugh Fraser, fifth Lord Lovat. 

Alexander Chisholme is on record again in 1368. In 
that year, on the feast of the Blessed Trinity, in the 
chamber of Alexander, Bishop of Moray, at Spynie, in 
the presence of the whole multitude of canons and 
chaplains and others invited thither to dinner, Alexander 
Chisholme of the Ard, comportioner with William de 
Fenton, with joined hands and uncovered head, did 
homage to the Bishop for the lands of the Ess and Kyn- 
tallirgy (Kiltarlity). 

By Margaret of the Aird and Lady of Erchless, 
Alexander de Chisholme had issue — 

1. Thomas, his heir and successor. 

2. Margaret, who in 1401 married Angus, son of God- 
frey of Uist and Garmoran, second son of John, First 
Lord of the Isles, the " Good John of Isla," by his first 
wife, Amie, heiress of the Macruaries of Garmoran. 
Godfrey's descendants are said to be extinct. His eldest 
brother, John, died before his father, leaving one son, 
also named Angus, who died without issue. Godfrey's 
next immediately younger brother was Ranald or Reginald, 
progenitor of the Macdonalds of Glengarry.* On the 
occasion of Margaret the Younger's marriage, a curious 
agreement was entered into between her mother, Mar- 
garet of the Aird, whose husband, Alexanner de Chisholme, 
was then dead, and young Margaret's husband, Angus. 
It is recorded that in 1401, by an indenture dated at 
Dunballoch between Margaret, Lady of the Aird, Lady 

* Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, p. 59. 


of Erchless, and of that Ilk, and Angus, the son of 
Godfrey of the Isles, it was agreed that Angus should 
marry Margaret the Young, the daughter of the Lady 
Margaret of the Aird, with whom he should have from 
her mother fifteen merklands, namely, the davach of 
Croicheal and the half-davach of Comar Kinbaddy, within 
the bounds of Strathglass, to be held by Angus and his 
heirs by Margaret his wife ; that should Margaret die 
without heirs, the half of those lands and the half of the 
goods then jointly possessed by Angus and his wife 
should revert to Lady Margaret and her heirs,* the 
other half to remain with Angus for his life ; that after 
his death the whole should freely revert to the Lady 
Margaret and her sons for recovery of the davach of 
Brebach Carinnes, and Invernaver in Strathnaver, the 
two Gartys in the earldom of Sutherland, and Larnys 
in the earldom of Caithness ; and that in so far as the 
Lady Margaret and her sons might recover the said 
lands through the advice, assistance, and power of Angus, 
he and his heirs by her daughter Margaret, should have 
the fourth part of the recovered lands, and the other 
three-fourths should remain with the Lady Margaret and 
her sons ; the entry of Angus to be at the feast of 
Penticost following, so that the fermes of that term 
should remain with the Lady Margaret, and that the 
lands should thenceforth be at the will of Angus.f 
From this two important facts are made clear. First, 
that the lands in Strathglass which Margaret de la Ard 
brought to her husband, Alexander de Chisholme, con- 
tinued under her own personal control after his death, 
and second, that she still laid claim to some portions 
of the lands in Sutherland and Caithness which had 

* These lands of Croicheal are subsequently found in possession of 
Haliburton, who married Catherine, the grand-daughter and heiress of 
Margaret de la Ard, and Erchless, showing that Angus must have died 
without issue. 

t Lib. Tnsulae Missarum, pp. i and 51 ; and the Pitsligo Charters, 
quoted in Origines tarochiales Scotia pp. 515-516 Vol. II. 


belonged to her late brother, Alexander, as Earl of 

Alexander de Chisholme was succeeded in the remain- 
ing portion of the lands inherited from his father and 
brother, which were still extensive, and as head of the 
house by his son, 


Who is on record, during his father's lifetime, in 1389, 
1390, and in 1391-92, 1394, and 1398. His name has been 
already mentioned as one of the securities in an agree- 
ment, dated 2nd November, 1389, between the Wolf of 
Badenoch and his wife Euphamia, Countess of Ross ; the 
other sureties being Robert, Earl of Sutherland, and 
Alexander de Moravia of Culbin. He was Constable of 
Urquhart Castle in 1391-92, succeeding his father, who 
had at that date, from extreme old age, become too frail 
to perform the duties of that responsible office. 

On the 10th of May, 1394, an agreement was entered 
into between Thomas Dunbar, Earl of Moray, and Alex- 
ander of the Isles, Lord of Lochaber, by which it was 
settled that Alexander of the Isles should have the 
custody of all the lands of the regality of Moray and 
the ecclesiastical lands, except those belonging to Hugh 
Fraser, Thomas de Chisholme, and Lord William de 
Fodrynham, regarding which there was an agreement 
among themselves.* These three gentlemen were appar- 
ently at that time the portioners of the lands of the 
Aird, Thomas of Chisholme, holding his share in right 
of his mother, Margaret de la Ard, although his father 
was then, and for at least four years later, alive. 

In 1403 there is an indenture, dated, the 25th of April, 
at Kinrossie, in the barony of Cullace, Perthshire, between 
William de Fenton of Baky on the one hand and Margaret 
de la Aird Lady of Erchless, and Thomas Chisholme, her 
son and heir, on the other, dividing between them the lands 

* Register of Moray, p. 354. 


of which they were heirs portioners, and which, according 
to this document, lay in the sheriffdoms of Forfar, Perth, 
Lanark, Aberdeen, and Inverness. These extensive pos- 
sessions are thus described in the deed — the barony of 
Rethy, in Forfarshire ; the lands of Culase and Buthergask, 
in Perthshire ; the lands of Quodqueen, in Lanarkshire ; 
the barony of Gask, in Forfarshire ; the town of Kinrossie 
and miln thereof, and the lands of Strathy and Prony, 
in the earldom of Stratherne ; the barony of Dumblate, 
the two Tollis and Culquhork, in the earldom of Mar ; 
the two Arkethys and Craigtoun, in the barony of Crouden 
and shire of Aberdeen ; and the lands of the Aird in In- 
verness-shire. By the same document it was agreed 
between them that the lands of the Aird should stand 
divided as of old. This agreement was confirmed by 
Robert, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland, on the 
13th of July, 1413, and it was again confirmed by James 
IV. in 1513.* 

Thomas married Margaret, daughter of Lachlan Mack- 
intosh, VIII. of Mackintosh, by his wife Agnes, daughter 
of Hugh Fraser of Lovat, who died in 1397 (and sister 
of Hugh Fraser, the first lord), by his wife Elizabeth, 
daughter of Sir David Wemyss of that Ilk.f By Mar- 
garet Mackintosh of Mackintosh Thomas had issue — 

1. Alexander, his heir and successor. 

2. Wiland, who, during his father's life, was designated 
"of Comar," and, on the death of his brother Alexander 
without male issue, succeeded to the chiefship and estates. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Described as " Lord of Kinrossy " in a deed dated at 
Elgin on the 9th of August, 1422, in which Thomas of 
Dunbar, Earl of Moray, as superior of the lands, grants 
to Hugh, Lord of Lovat, the barony of Abertarff in 

* Register of the Great Seal, and Robert sort's Index. 
t Anderson's History of the Family of Fraser, p. 52. 


blench ferm, and the ward and relief of the late William 
of Fenton, Lord of the Baky, and of Alexander of Chis- 
holme, Lord of Kinrosay, pertaining to the said Earl 
" within the Ard and Strathglass."* From this it will 
be seen that Alexander Chisholme, like his predecessors, 
was lord or proprietor of Kinrossy, in Perthshire, and of 
Strathglass and the Aird at the same time, and as late 
as 1422. In 1432 Alexander grants a charter to Catherine, 
his only child and co-heiress, of the barony of Pitcur, in 
the parish of Kettins, county of Forfar, on the occasion 
of her marriage to her cousin, Walter Haliburton, second 
son of Walter, first Lord Dirlton, to whom she carried 
the lands of Pitcur, which are possessed to this day by 
their descendents, and one-third of the Aird. 

It is interesting to find that thirty years afterwards, as 
late as 1462, John Haliburton, described as "of Kin- 
rossie " — the designation of Alexander de Chisholme in 
the deed of 1442 — is pursued by the Abbot of Arbroath 
for alienating the lands of Bught, in the parish of Inver- 
ness, which had been formerly granted in 1322 to Sir 
Christian de la Ard, otherwise Sir Christian de Forbes, 
Knight, on the express condition that he must never 
alienate them.f The Haliburtons constantly turn up in 
documents connected with the Aird after the date of this 

Alexander having died without male issue in 1432, he 
was succeeded by his brother, 


Described "'of Comar," whose name appears on record 
in 1443. About this period "the House of Redcastle is 
seized by Hector Mackenzie, and the country of Ard- 
meanach spulzied by William Forbes in Strathglass, 
Chisholme of Comar, and their accomplices ; against 
whom he obtains a sentence upon 12th May, 1490. 

* Spalding Club Miscellany, p. 256. 

t Lib. de Aberbrothock, Vol. II., pp. 138-140. 


And I find that George Earl of Huntly, Lieutenant of 
the North, gave commission to Mackintosh, Grant, Kil- 
ravock, and others, to the number of three thousand, to 
go against Kenneth Mackenzie and his kin for spulzieing 
Ardmeanach, and killing Harold Chisholm in Strathglass, 
and that they did harry, spulzie, and slay the Clan 
Kenzie by his command, as the King's rebels and 
oppressors of the lieges."* There is record of a decree 
or award respecting the lands of Croy and Kildrummy, 
in Morayshire, dated the 10th of April, 1492, in which 
the names of an Alexander and a William Chisholm 
appear among the arbiters in a dispute between Andrew, 
Bishop of Ross, and Hugh Rose, baron of Kilravock, 
who at that time held the office of keeper of Red- 
castle. f 

Wiland married a lady whose name we have been 
unable to ascertain, with issue— 

1. Wiland, his heir and successor. 

2. A daughter, who, about 1470, married Farquhar- 
of Invercauld. 

3. A daughter, who married Ewen Maclean of Ardgour, 
with issue — three sons. 

He was succeeded by his only son, 


The first of the name who was designated "The Chis- 
holm." His descendants dropped the final E in the 
original name of the family, and from this point it may 
be as well that we should follow the same form, as it was 
adopted by the Chisholms of the north generally since 
they lost connection with the original Border possessions 
of their southern progenitors. We find Wiland on record 
in 1499. At Inverness on the 26th October in that year 
James IV. issued letters, etc., in favour of Alexander Lord 
Gordon, and others, his Sheriffs in that part, to levy and 
distrain the goods of Donald Corbett, and many besides, 

* Kilravock Papers, p 52. t Register of 'Moray \ pp. 237-239, 241, 243, 244. 


who spulzied the lands of Ardmeanach and Redcastle, while 
Kilravock was captain or keeper of it, in consequence of 
former letters directed by the Lords of the Privy Council 
to David Ross of Balnagown not having been implemented. 
Among those mentioned in the letters addressed to Bal- 
nagown, and ordered to be distrained, were William 
Forbes in Strathglass, and " Welland Chisholm of Comar," 
and that "to the avail of certain cows, horses, sheep, 
goats, capons, hens, geese, victual, swine, sums of money, 
and other goods taken by them from the said Hugh, out 
of the lands of Ardmeanach and the Redcastle, the time 
that he was Captain thereof, and to have made him be 
paid of the same."* These gentlemen at once proceeded 
to execute their commission — to " burn, harry, and slay," — 
and for their safety took the following warrant from the 
Earl of Huntly, His Majesty's Lieutenant in the north. 
The document proceeds — 

Since it is meet and meritable to bear loyal and steadfast wit- 
nessing in the things that are true, that they keep innocents from 
skaith, I, George, Earl of Huntly, lieutenant to our Sovereign 
Lord, the King, whom God assoil, and sheriff of Inverness for 
the time, charged and " gerit " pass by the command of our 
Sovereign Lord's letters, Duncan Mackintosh, Captain of Clan- 
chattan ; John the Grant of Freuchy ; Hugh the Rose of Kilravock 
[and several others], with their accomplices, men and friends, to 
the number of three thousand, upon Kenneth Mackenzie and his 
kin and friends, dwelling in Ross, for they were the King's rebels, 
at his horn in that time, and put to his horn by Sir Alexander 
Dunbar, our Sheriff- Depute for the time of Inverness, for the 
slaughter of Harrald Chisholm, dwelling in Strathglass, and for 
divers other herschips, slaughters, and spulzies, made by the said 
Kenneth Mackenzie, and his kin, accomplices of the Clan Kenneth, 
upon the King's poor lieges and tenants in the lordship of Ard- 
meanach, for the which we caused the forsaid persons to burn, 
harry, and slay, for their demerits ; declaring what skaith that 
was at that time to the said Clan Kenneth and their accomplices 
was by the King's command, and ours as Lieutenant, and after 
the form of our Sovereign Lord's letters directed to us and our 
deputies purporting at more length. 

This warrant is dated at Newark-on-Spey, on the 15th of 
* Kilravock Papers^ pp. 168-170. 


December, 1499, an< ^ i s witnessed by Sir James Ogilvy 
of Deskford, Knight, Walter Ogilvy ot the Boyne, William, 
Thane of Cawdor, and Patrick Barclay of Grantully.* 

The " Harrald " mentioned in the preceding warrant as 
having been slain in the raid of Redcastle could not 
have been one of the chiefs of the family, as supposed 
by some writers. He is always referred to as dwelling in 
Strathglass — described exactly as William Forbes, another 
indweller, is described ; while in the same document, 
Welland, or Wiland Chisholm, the head of his house, 
is described " of Comer," just as chiefs of clans and 
proprietors of lands are invariably described in such 

On the 26th of April, 1502, an undertaking is granted 
by Alexander, Earl of Huntly, to certain men who had 
suffered from the " Hership of Petty " at the hands of 
James Dunbar of Cumnock, Knight, David Dunbar his 
brother, and their accomplices, to follow and pursue 
these gentlemen " to the utter end of law and the rigour 
thereof," on certain specified conditions. The document 
is witnessed among others by " Weland Chisholm of 
Comar. "| 

In 15 13 James IV. granted to Wiland Chisholm of 
Comar in heritage the lands of Knockfin, Comar Mor, 
the two Inverchannichs, and the two Breackachies, with 
the pertinents, all lying in Strathglass, and in the earl- 
dom of Ross, and which Wiland had resigned to the 
King as Earl of Ross, the title and lands of the earldom 
having been forfeited to the Crown in 1475, and the 
Lordship of the Isles in 1493. He has a precept under 
the Quarter Seal for infeftment of these lands, dated the 
9th of April, 15 13, and James IV. on the same occasion 
confirmed the indenture of 1403 between William Fenton 
of Baky, Thomas of Chisholm, and his mother, Mar- 
garet de la Ard. In the same year Wiland Chisholm, 
accompanied by Sir Donald Gallda of Lochalsh, and Alas- 
tair Macdonald of Glengarry, proceeded to Urquhart, and 

* Kilravock Papers, pp. 1 70-171. f Invemessiana, p. 181. 


stormed the Castle, expelled the garrison, and laid waste 
the adjoining - country. On the 26th of February, 15 15, 
Grant of Freuchy obtained a decree for this raid against 
Sir Donald Gallda of Lochalsh, Chisholm of Comar, Alex- 
ander John Ranaldson's son in Glengarry, Donald Mac 
Angus More in Achadrom, and others, " for the wrongous 
and violent spoliation and takand of the fortalice of 
Urquhart, frae the said John the Grant, and for £2000 
as the value thereof." There was thus an interval of 
two years between the raid and the decree. 

In 1512 the same King had granted in heritage to 
James Haliburton of Gask certain lands in the barony 
of Aird and sheriffdom of Inverness, and the lands of 
the two Erchlesses in the earldom of Ross which he 
had previously resigned. These lands were then erected 
into the free barony of Erchless, together with the lands 
of Wester Struy, Easter Struy, Culguyry (Cuilgearan) 
Easter Croicheal, Wester Croicheal, Wester Comar Kin- 
baddy, and Dalhenny, with the fishings and outsets of 
the same, lying in Strathglass, in the earldom of Ross, 
and in the sheriffdom of Inverness, which formerly 
belonged to James Haliburton in heritage, and which, 
after alienation by him, had now been redeemed. He 
had at this date re-granted to him all the Kings right 
and title to the lands and their fermes which His Majesty 
had, in consequence of the forfeiture of the Earls of 
Moray and Ross, of whom, as the superiors, these lands 
were formerly held. In 1529 the above-named James 
Haliburton resigned the lands conveyed to him in 1512, 
whereupon James V. granted them in heritage to Hugh 
Fraser of Lovat. 

Wiland Chisholm was, before his death, succeeded in 
the lands by his son, 


Who, on the 2nd of October, 1529, during his father's 
life-time, appears as a witness to a charter of endowment 


for two chaplains to officiate in the Cathedral of Moray, 
executed by Gavin Dunbar, Bishop of Aberdeen. He 
is described in this document as "Master John Chisholm, 
son and heir of Wiland Chisholm of Comar." There is 
a charter under the Great Seal by James V. in favour 
of "John Chisholm, eldest son of the said Wiland Chis- 
holm," of the lands mentioned in the charter of 1 5 13, 
and which had in the meantime been apprised to James 
IV. for certain debts owing" to the Crown. This charter, 
which is dated the 13th of March, 1538, erected the 
lands named into a barony in favour of John and his 
heirs whatsoever. On the same date we find an order 
and warrant under the Privy Seal by James V. to his 
comptrollers and auditors to delete the lands mentioned 
in these documents from His Majesty's Exchequer rolls. 

On the 27th of May, 1539, there is an instrument of 
sasine on a charter by James V. granting in heritage to 
John Chisholm, the son and apparent heir of Wiland 
Chisholm of Comar, under reservation of his father 
Wiland's life-rent, the lands of Knockfin, Comar Mor, 
the two Inverchannichs, and the two Breackachies, with 
the outsets and the forests of Affric, Cullove, and 
Bramulich, in Strathglass, in the earldom of Ross, 
which formerly belonged to his father, Wiland Chisholm, 
but were apprised in the hands of King James IV. for 
certain sums of money due to him by Wiland, and 
which James V. in this year united into the barony of 
Comar Mor. 

In the same year James V. granted to Hugh, Lord 
Fraser of Lovat, and his male heirs of the name and 
arms of Fraser, with remainder to his heirs whomsoever, 
the lands and baronies of Lovat, Stratherrick, Abertarff, 
Erchless or Strathglass, the fishings in the river of Forne 
or Farrar, the lands of Comer-na-kill in the barony of 
the Aird, and other lands in the sheriffdom of Inverness, 
the lands of Comer-na-kill, and some others having been 
apprised in the hands of James IV. for certain sums of 
money due to him by the deceased Thomas Lord Lovat, 


and the rest resig-ned by Hugh. All these lands were 
then erected into the free barony of Lovat.* 

In 1542 John Chisholm receives a remission of all his 
offences from James V. The more recent of these appear 
to be offences of which a detailed account is given in the 
Acts of Parliament, and in which " Maister John Ches- 
holme is accused as 'one of the simulat and feugit 
assigns,'" who intromitted with "the gudis and errands 
of Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie " three years before, 

in 1539-t 

From the fact that John is described as Maister in 
1542, it is evident that his father was still alive at that 
date. He was dead, however, before 1555, for in that 
year Queen Mary granted to John, Earl of Sutherland, 
the lands of Comar in Strathglass, and all the other lands 
belonging to " the deceased John Cheisholme of Comyr, 
in her hands at his decease. "% He could not write his 
own name; for at Elgin, on the 7th of December, 1544 
he and John Mackenzie of Kintail sign a bond of man- 
rent to the Earl of Huntly, "Johne Chislome of Cummyr, 
with my hand at the pen, led by the said Maister James, 
notar publick."§ Lord Lovat, who was also one of the 
signatories, was able to sign with his own hand, but Mac- 
kenzie of Kintail required the same assistance as John 
Chisholm of Strathglass. 

John was succeeded by his son, 


Who has a sasine of the family estates on the 31st of 
May, 1555, as the son and heir of John Chisholm. This 
sasine follows upon a precept furth of Chancery for in- 
fefting Alexander as heir in special, served and retoured 
to his father John Chisholm of Comar. On the 15th 
of October, 1563, John Campbell of Cawdor was served 

* Origines Parochiales Scotiae, pp. 516-517. 

t Acts of Parliament, II. 354. 

\ Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. XXVII. p. 103. 

§ Spalding Club Miscellany, Vol. II. p. 187. 


in the barony of Strathnairn, before James Earl of Moray, 
then Sheriff-Principal. Among- those whose names appear 
on the jury we find Alexander Chisholm of Comar, along 
with Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, Alexander Ross of 
Balnagown, Robert Munro of Fowlis, Hugh Rose of Kil- 
ravock, Hugh Fraser of Guisachan, William Fraser of 
Struy, Alexander Urquhart, Sheriff of Cromarty, and 
several others.* In 1577 James VI. confirmed a grant 
in life-rent by Alexander to his wife Janet Mackenzie, 
eldest daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, X. of Kintail, 
ancestor of the Earls of Seaforth and sister-german of 
Colin Mackenzie XI. of Kintail, of the lands and mill 
of Breackachies, in the earldom of Ross, to be held 
direct of the Crown. There is a sasine of the lands of 
Comar Mor and Wester Invercannich, with the mill and 
pertinents, forming part of the barony of Comar Mor, in 
favour of Thomas Chisholm, son and apparent heir of 
Alexander Chisholm and Janet Fraser his spouse, pro- 
ceeding on a charter dated the 26th of March, 1578, 
of the said lands granted them by Alexander. The 
instrument of sasine is dated the 12th of April imme- 
diately following. 

Alexander's wife was the widow of ALneas Macdonald 
VII. of Glengarry, her mother being Lady Elizabeth 
Stewart, daughter of John second Earl of Athol, by his 
wife Mary Campbell, daughter of Archibald second Earl 
of Argyll. Through this marriage of Alexander Chis- 
holm to Janet Mackenzie of Kintail, Lady Elizabeth 
Stewart's daughter, the Chisholms of Strathglass, of whom 
James Chisholm Gooden Chisholm, of Tavistock Square, 
London, is present heir of line, are descended from 
Edward I., Edward III., and from Mary, sister of King 
Robert the Bruce.t Alexander is again mentioned in a 

* Invcrnessiana, p. 299. 

f Janet Mackenzie of Kintail was Glengarry's third wife. His only issue 
by her was a daughter, Elizabeth, who married John Roy Mackenzie, IV. 
of Gairloch with issue, among others, Alexander Mackenzie V. of Gairloch, 
from whom the author is seventh in descent both on the male and female 


retour in 1584 along with his third son, as "Alex- 
ander Cheisholme of Cwmer, and Wiland Cheisholme 
his youngest son." 

Alexander married, as already stated, Janet, daughter 
of Kenneth Mackenzie, tenth Baron of Kintail, with 
issue — - 

1. Thomas, his heir and successor. 

2. John, who succeeded his brother Thomas in the 
chiefship and estates. 

3. Wiland, who is described in 1584, in a retour as 
Alexander Chisholm of Comar's "youngest son." We, 
however, cannot find any further trace of him. 

Alexander, who died before 1590, was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 


Who has a sasine dated the 12th of April, 1578, during 
his father's life-time, on the occasion of his marriage to 
Janet Fraser, widow of John Glassich Mackenzie, II. 
of Gairloch, only daughter and heiress of James Fraser of 
Phoineas, brother of Hugh fifth Lord Lovat. On the 
7th of June, 1539, the lady's father has a charter in his 
favour of the King's lands of Drumdervale (?Drumderfit) 
in the lordship of Ardmanoch or Redcastle, in Ross, and 
on the 25th of October, 1542, another of the lands of 
Kinkell, Culbokie, and Pitlundie, in the Black Isle. He 
was one of the principal men of the name of Fraser who 
fell at the battle of Blar-nan-leine in 1544, at the head 
of Loch Lochy. 

In one of the Gairloch manuscripts it is said that by 
Janet Fraser her first husband, John Glassich Mackenzie, 
"got the lands of Kinkell, Kilbokie, Badinearb, Pitlundie, 
Davochcairn, Davochpollo, and Foynish, with others in 
the Low Country, for which the family [of Gairloch] has 
been in the use to quarter the arms of Fraser with their 

Janet had three sons to John Glassich Mackenzie, each 


of whom became in succession lairds of Gairloch. Her 
husband having been violently put to death at the 
instance of John Mackenzie, IX. of Kintail, she, accord- 
ing to an old family manuscript, fled with her eldest 
surviving son, John Roy Mackenzie, "to Lovat and her 
Fraser relatives." The same authority says that "she was 
afterwards married to Chisholm of Comar and heird his 
family ; here she kept him in as concealed a manner as 
possible, and, as is reported, every night under a brewing 
kettle ; those who, through the barbarity of the times, 
destroyed the father and the uncles, being in search of 
the son, and in possession of his all excepting his 
mother's dower. He was afterwards concealed by the 
lairds of Moidart and of Farr, till he became a handsome 
man, and could put on his weapon, when he had to wait 
on Colin Cam Mackenzie, laird of Kintail, a most worthy 
gentleman who established him in all his lands, except- 
ing those parts of the family estate for which Hector 
and his successors had an undoubted right by writs."* 

In 1574 John Roy Mackenzie acquired from Lord 
Lovat half the lands of Ardnagrask, partly for the rights 
he had inherited in Phoineas from his mother. In the 
disposition of these lands, Lord Lovat designates Mac- 
kenzie as " the son, by her first husband, of his 
kinswoman, Agnes Fraser." It appears from a charter 
of alienation by Hugh Fraser of Guisachan, dated the 
29th of May, 1582, that John Roy Mackenzie had 
acquired Davochcairn and Davochpollo from this Hugh 
Fraser, in 1574, the same year in which he acquired 
Ardnagrask, and that in 1582 he obtained from him the 
lands of Kinkell-Clarsach and Pitlundie, in terms of a 
contract of sale dated the 26th of January, 1581.! 

From this it would seem that part at least of the lands 
which Agnes Fraser on the occasion of her first marriage 

* Quoted in Mackenzie's History of the Clan Mackenzie, pp. 315-316. 

f Mackenzie's History of the Mackenzie^, pp. 316-317. Her name must 
have been Janet Agnes, for she is as often called by the one as by 
the other. 



carried to her husband, John Glassich Mackenzie of Gair- 
loch, remained with herself, or returned to her Fraser 
relatives, and that she did not carry them with her to 
her second husband, Thomas Chisholm, Hugh Fraser of 
Guisachan, who conveyed them to Mackenzie, being her 
father's brother. It would, however, appear from the 
sasine of 1578, that she carried some portion of her pos- 
sessions to her second husband, Thomas Chisholm of 
Comar, during - his father's life-time. 

This Thomas " Cheisholm of Cummer " is included in 
"The Roll of the names of the landlordis and baillies of 
landis in the Hielandis and lies, quhair brokin men hes 
duelt and presentlie duellis," appended to the Act of 
Parliament passed in the year 1587, "for the quieting 
and keeping in obedience of the disordourit subjects 
inhabitants of the Bordouris, Hielandis, and His," com- 
monly called The General Band, or Bond.* 

Thomas died very soon after his father (who was alive 
in 1584), and before 1590, without surviving male issue, 
and probably without making up titles, when he was 
succeeded by his next brother, 


Who was the " son of Alexander and brother to Thomas," 
and was served heir to his father, Alexander Chisholm, 
by a special service before the Sheriff of Inverness, on 
the 19th of December, 1590, in the lands of Knockfin, 
Comar Mor, the two Inverchannichs with the mill thereof, 
the two Breackachies, the woods and forests of Affric, 
Cullove, and Bramulach, extending to three davochs, 
united into the barony of Comar Mor, in Strathglass, 
in the earldom of Ross, excepting the lands of Wester 
Inverchannich with the mill and the lands of Comar 
Mor, of the old extent of £4.^ 

He has another special service of the same lands on 

* Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 33-34. 
t Origines Parochiales Scotiae, p. 517. 


the same date, as heir to his brother Thomas, and sasine 
follows upon all his father's and brother's possessions with 
an instrument of sasine following upon a precept from 
Chancery, dated the 19th of July, 1591, for infefting him 
therein as heir to his father Alexander Chisholm. The 
sasine is dated the 19th of August in the same year. He 
has a similar instrument following upon a like precept, 
and on the same dates, infefting him in the said lands 
as heir served and retoured to the said Thomas Chisholm 
his brother-german. 

He has an instrument of sasine of the lands of the 
two Erchlesses and Comar-na-kill, with the pertinents, 
following upon a precept of sasine contained in a tack of 
nineteen years of the said lands, granted by Simon Lord 
Fraser of Lovat, dated the 25th and 26th of February, 
1594. On the 13th of May, 1606, there is a charter of 
the lands of Erchless from the same Simon Lord Lovat, 
in favour of John Chisholm of Comar and Janet Bayne, 
his spouse. There is a charter of confirmation of this 
deed under the Great Seal to John and his spouse, 
dated the 28th of January, 161 2 ; followed by a charter 
of alienation by Simon Lord Lovat to John Chisholm 
and his wife, Janet Bayne, of the lands of Comar Kirkton, 
dated the 18th of May, 1614, along with a contract of 
wadset between his lordship and the said John and Janet, 
on the same date. From this it would appear that John's 
first wife was the widow or daughter of one of the 
Baynes of Tulloch. 

In 1628 John Chisholm of Comar enters into a contract 
with Colin first Earl of Seaforth, Simon Lord Fraser of 
Lovat, Hector Munro of Clynes, John Grant of Glen- 
moriston, John Bayne of Tulloch, and others of their 
respective names, for the preservation of deer and roe, 
and the punishment of trespassers on their several estates. 
In this contract "John Chisholme of Comer, and Alex- 
ander Chisholme, his eldest lawfull son and apperand air 
for thameselffs," takes upon them the full burden " for 
thair brether," men-tenants, and servants. The docu- 


ment, modernised in spelling, is in the following terms : — 

At the year of God 1628 : It is appointed, con- 

tracted, and finally ended betwixt the noble and honourable parties 
following, that is to say, a noble and potent Lord Colin Earl of 
Seaforth, Lord of Kintail and Lewis, and with him his honourable 
friends following, viz., John Mackenzie of Coigeach, George Mac- 
kenzie of Kildin, Mr. Colin Mackenzie of Kinnock, Mr. Alexander 
Mackenzie of Kilcoy, Alexander Mackenzie, fiar of Gairloch, Alex- 
ander Mackenzie of Coul, and John Mackenzie of Fairburn for 
themselves ; and the said noble Lord taking upon him the full 
burden for the remanent of his kin and friends and for his Lord- 
ship's men-tenants and servants, and his forenamed kinsmen taking 
upon them the full burden each one respectively for their own men- 
tenants and servants on the first part ; and a noble and potent 
Lord Simon Fraser of Lovat, Hew master of Lovat, his eldest law- 
ful son and apparent heir, and with them their honourable friends 
after named, viz., Thomas Fraser of Strichen, Thomas Fraser of 
Struy, Hucheoun Fraser of Kilbokie, and Hucheoun Fraser of Bella- 
drum for themselves ; and the said noble lord and his said son 
taking on them the full burden for the remanent of their kin and 
friends and for their men-tenants and servants, and their forenamed 
kinsmen taking upon them the full burden each one respectively for 
their own men-tenants and servants on the second part ; and Hector 
Monro of Clynes, Robert Monro of Assynt for themselves, and 
taking on them the full burden for Hector Monro of Pitfure and 
George Monro of Ardcharnich and the remanent of the tenants of 
of the lands of Inverlael on the third part ; and John Chisholm 
of Comar and Alexander Chisholm his eldest lawful son and 
apparent heir for themselves, and taking upon them the full burden 
for their brother, men tenants and servants, on the fourth part ; 
and John Grant of Glenmoriston and Patrick Grant his eldest son 
and appparent heir for themselves, and taking the full burden upon 
them for their men-tenants and servants on the fifth part ; and 
John Bayne of Tulloch, Ronald Bayne and Kenneth Bayne his 
brother, for themselves, and taking on them the full burden for the 
remanent, their brother, men-tenants and servants on the sixth 
part ; In manner and effect as after follows. That is to say, for 
as much there is divers and sundry acts of Parliament made by 
our sovereign lord's progenitors of worthy memory anent the stealing 
of deer, doe, and roe, which is appointed to be punished as theft, 
and anent shooting at them, which is appointed to be punished 
with death and escheat of their goods movable ; which acts are, 
and have been, daily contravened these many years bygone by 
reason of the impunity of the offenders, whereby the wonted store 


of deer, doe and roe, in special within the bounds pertaining to the 
aforesaid parties contracting, is greatly decreased ; For better pre- 
servation thereof in time coming the said six parties, each one of 
them for themselves, and taking on them the burdens respectively 
foresaid, by these presents bind and oblige them and their heirs 
each one to another respectively, that they nor none of them, 
their men-tenants nor servants shall, under whatsoever colour or 
pretext, steal or convey away by night or by day any deer, doe 
or roe, feeding within the bounds of any of their forests thereof to 
any other forest ; neither shall they hunt nor slay the said deer, 
doe or roe, by dogs, gun, or bow outwith the forest pertaining 
properly to themselves, nor tansport nor carry guns in hills or forest 
for that effect in no time hereafter, from the date hereof, without 
the special license of the owner of the forest, first had and obtained 
thereto in writing, under the pains following, viz., of one hundred 
marks money each person of the aforesaid parties contracting, and 
of forty pounds each one of their brother, men-tenants and servants 
that shall happen to contravene, as a liquidating fine presently 
modified by the said whole parties to be paid by each contravener 
to the person or persons within whose bounds and forest the con- 
travention shall be committed toties quott'es, the same shall happen 
and that within the space of fifteen days after the proving of each 
contravention in presence of the bailies to be nominated and 
appointed by the party contravening and the party contravened 
upon, in an open court to be held within the bounds of the party 
offended, where they shall appoint ; and if the said brother, men- 
tenants or servants of the contravening parties or either of the 
parties themselves refuse to compear before the said bailies, or 
that the bailie of the party contravening such like refuses to com- 
pear to hold court and hear probation led : In that case it shall 
be committed to receive witnesses and pronounce decree as well 
as if the other bailie were present, which decree being pronounced 
the said parties, each one for their own parts respectively, oblige 
them to satisfy and fulfil to the others without any exception and to 
cause their brother, men-tenants and servants, to satisfy their fines 
toties quoties, or else to present them each one to the other or to 
our sovereign lord's justice at the party offended's will and option 
to underlye the law for that effect : Consenting for the more 
security that these presents be inserted and registered in the books 
of Council and Session, and that a decree of the Lords thereof 
be hereto interponed, and that letters and executions of horning 
and others needful, the one without prejudice of the other here- 
upon be directed, and the horning in case thereof to pass upon a 
simple charge of ten days only : And for that effect constitutes 
Masters Alexander Cumming, Mathew Forsyth, John Sandilands, 


and David Heriot their procurators promittentes de rato : In witness 
thereof written by Alexander Ross, servitor to William Lauder, 
commissary clerk of Ross, the said parties have subscribed these 
presents with their hands, day, year, and place aforesaid, before 
these witnesses, Hugh Rose of Kilravock, James Fraser of Phopacy, 
Gavin Dunbar, Hew Macgill, and Alexander Dunbar, reader at Croy. 
Sic subscribititr Seaforth, Lovat, H. M. Lovat, Thomas Fraser of 
Struy, John Grant of Glenmoriston, Patrick Grant, apparent of Glen- 
moriston, " John Chisholme of Comer," Hugh Ross, witness, Gavin 
Dunbar, witness, Hew Macgill, witness, Alexander Dunbar, witness, 
James Fraser, witness, Alexander Dunbar, witness to Glenmoriston 
and his son's subscription, William Finlayson, witness to Thomas 
Fraser of Struy's subscription, Mr. Wm. Mackenzie, witness to the 
Chisholm's subscription, W T . Fraser of Drumcharden.* 

It is interesting to find that The Chisholm signs this 
document by his own hand as "John Chisholme of Comer," 
retaining the final E in the family name as late as 1628. 

John, who does not appear to have had any issue by 
his first wife, married, secondly, the eldest daughter, by 
his second wife, of Alexander Mackenzie (natural son of 
Colin Cam Mackenzie, XI. of Kintail, by Mary, eldest 
daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, II. of Davochmaluag), 
progenitor of the families of Coul and Applecross. By 
this lady he had issue — 

1. Alexander, his heir and successor. 

2. Thomas of Kinneries, "Tanastair" of Chisholm, com- 
monly called " Tomas Mor Mac-an t-Siosalaich," of whose 
family and descendants in their order. 

3. Agnes, who married William Rose of Clava (who 
died on the 13th of August, 1664, aged eighty), second 
son of William Rose, XI. of Kilravock, with issue — one 
son, Hugh, his father's heir. 

4. A daughter, who married Alexander Rose of Can- 
tray, her brother-in-law (who died in his 36th year in 
1622), third son of William Rose, XI. of Kilravock, with 
issue — four daughters, the eldest of whom married Grant 
of Corriemony, and the second, Macpherson of Nuide, 
in Badenoch.f 

* Transactions of the Iona Club, pp. 193-195. 
t Kilravock Papers, pp. 81-82. 


5. A daughter who, about 1625, married Maclean of 
John Chisholm was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Who, during the life of his father, has a contract of dis- 
position granted to him by Simon Lord Lovat, of the 
lands of Easter and Wester Erchless and Comar Kirkton, 
dated the 28th of March, 1621. On the same date he 
has from the same party, a feu charter of these lands in 
implement of this contract. A sasine follows on the 31st 
of the same month, which is registered in the Particular 
Register of Inverness and Cromarty, on the 22nd of April 
following. On the 25th of July, 1622, he receives a 
charter of confirmation under the Great Seal, of the 
foregoing lands, with infeftment following immediately 
thereon. He has an instrument of sasine in his favour of 
the whole lands and barony of Comar Mor, following 
upon a precept of Chancery, dated the 17th of July, 
1630, for infefting him as heir, served and retoured, to 
his father, John Chisholm of Comar. The sasine is dated 
4th of August following, and is registered in the Par- 
ticular Register of sasines for the shires of Inverness and 
Cromarty on the 12th of the same month. There is a 
contract of feu in favour of Alexander by Hugh Lord 
Lovat, of the lands of Buntait and Mauld, dated the 31st 
of May and 1st of June, 1637, followed by a charter of 
implement on the same dates, and a sasine, dated the 
19th of June, and duly registered on the 7th of July, in 
the same year. The whole is confirmed by a charter 
under the Great Seal in favour of Alexander, on the 16th 
of January, 1638, followed by infeftment in the usual form. 
Alexander in 1639 married his cousin, a daughter of 
Alexander Mackenzie, V. of Gairloch, with issue — 

1. Angus, his heir and successor. 

2. Alexander, who, on the death of his brother Angus 
without issue, succeeded to the family estates. 


3. Colin, from whom the Chisholms of Knockfiri, and 
of whom in their order. 

4. A daughter, who married Fraser of Belladrum. 
Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Usually designated "An Siosal Cam," or the One-eyed 
Chisholm. He is on record in 1647. In 1658 he has 
a Colonel's commission for the command of horse or foot 
within the sheriffdom of Inverness, and by the Act for 
putting the country in a state of defence, his name ap- 
pears in the list of persons whose station entitle them 
to the command of national troops,* which really means 
in ordinary phraseology, that he was empowered to arm 
and command his own clan. 

He married Margaret, daughter of Murdoch Mackenzie, 
II. of Redcastle, without issue, and was succeeded in 
the family estates by his next brother, 


Generally known as "An Siosal Og," or the Young Chis- 
holm. On the 26th of November, 1657, we find a dis- 
position by William Fraser of Culbokie (who on the 22nd 
of February, 1636, acquired the lands in question from 
Hugh Lord Lovat), by Hugh Fraser his son, and by 
Christina Chisholm, his wife, all with one consent, in 
favour of Alexander Chisholm, of the lands of Wester 
Comar, alias Comar Croy. This disposition was imple- 
mented by two charters of the same date, followed by 
an instrument of sasine, dated the 31st of May and 
registered, as in the last case, on the 8th of June, 1658. 
He has a precept of Clare Constat of these lands from 
Lovat's trustees already mentioned, dated the 23rd of 
March, 1678, upon which a sasine follows on the 8th, 

* Acts of Parliament, Vol. VI. p. 303. 


which is duly registered on the 15th of November in the 
same year. 

Alexander is served as heir general on the 19th of 
June, 1677, and has a sasine following thereon on the 
nth of April, 1678, duly registered in the Particular 
Register for Inverness-shire on the 19th of the same 
month. On the 23rd of March in the same year he 
has a precept of Clare Constat by Kenneth Mor Mac- 
kenzie, third Earl of Seaforth, Sir George Mackenzie of 
Tarbat, and Hugh Fraser of Belladrum, Lord Lovat's 
trustees, as heir of his father, Alexander, of the town 
lands of Comar Croy or Wester Comar. Sasine follows 
on this precept on the 8th of November in the same 
year, and it is registered in the Particular Register of 
Sasines for the county on the 15th of that month. On 
the same date he has a similar precept from the same 
parties of the lands of Easter and Wester Erchless and 
of Comar Kirkton, with a sasine following thereon, duly 
registered on the 18th of November, 1678. He was 
Sheriff-Depute of the county of Inverness from 1689 
to 1695. 

In 1689 General Livingston found it necessary to send 
troops to disperse bodies of Highlanders, who, after the 
battle of Killiecrankie, which was fought in that year, 
continued in arms for the House of Stuart. A detach- 
ment of the Strathnaver and Grant regiments, from 
Brahan Castle, and the garrison of Castle Leod, accom- 
panied by a party of horse under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lumsden, were ordered to march against one of these 
bodies of Highlanders who had collected in Strathglass, 
and taken possession of Erchless Castle, the seat of the 
Chisholms, in which they resolved to defend themselves. 
It was, however, carried by storm, and a great quantity 
of provisions found within it was secured. Major Mac- 
kay, with four companies of the Grants, was left to defend 
the Castle and as a check on the disaffected, but the 
following summer he and his garrison were attacked by 
some five hundred Highlanders, by whom they would 


have been compelled to surrender had not Livingston 
promptly marched from Inverness and relieved them by 
a successful attack on the besieging Highlanders. 

Alexander married the eldest daughter of Roderick Mac- 
kenzie, I. of Applecross, with issue — 

i. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Theodore, of whose family in their order. 

3. Jean, who married Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, I. of 
Coul, created a baronet on the 16th of October, 1673, 
by Charles II., with issue — (1) Alexander, his heir and 
successor ; (2) Simon, first of the Mackenzies of Torridon 
and Lentran ; (3) John, first of Delvine ; (4) Roderick, 
who married a daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, VIII. 
of Davochmaluag ; (5) a daughter, who married Colin 
Mackenzie, IV. of Redcastle, with issue ; (6) Agnes, who 
married Sir John Munro of Fowlis, with issue ; (7) Jane, 
who married Alexander Baillie, IX. of Dunain ; (8) Chris- 
tian, who married John Dunbar, younger of Bennetsfield ; 
(9) Lilias, who married John Munro of Inverawe, with 
issue ; (10) Mary, who married Kenneth Mackenzie, VI. 
of Davochmaluag, with issue; and (11) a daughter, who 
married Gordon of Cluny.* 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Known among his own countrymen' as "An Siosalach 
Ruadh," or the Red Chisholm. He married Jane, third 
daughter of Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Findon, fourth son 
of Alexander Mackenzie, I. of Kilcoy, third son of Colin 
Cam, XI. of Kintail, by his wife Barbara, daughter of John, 
XII. of Grant, and brother of Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie 
and twelth Baron of Kintail. This lady brought John a 
considerable fortune in money, her eldest sister Lilias, as 
heiress, carrying her father's landed estate of Findon to 
her husband, Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, IV. of Scatwell, 
on the death of her only brother, when, on the 12th of 

* Mackenzie's History of the Mackenzies, p. 448. 


October, 1693, she was served heir of tailzie to her father 
in these lands, and carried them to Sir Kenneth, to whom 
she had been married in 1688. The other and youngest 
sister, Isabel, carried her portion, the estate of Allan, now 
Allangran^e, to Simon Mackenzie, first of that family.* 

By his wife, Sir Roderick Mackenzie's daughter, John 
had issue — 

1. Roderick, his heir and successor. 

2. Alexander of Muckerach, whose male representatives 
on the death of Duncan Macdonell Chisholm, on the 1 8th 
of September, 1858, without male issue, succeeded to the 
family estates as heir of entail, and of whom in their 

3. Janet, who married one of the Macdonells of Leek. 

4. Lilias, who married Fraser of Struy. 
John was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Sometimes called " Ruairi Mac Ian," but generally known 
among the people of Strathglass as " Ruairi 'n Aigh." 
He was born in 1697, and was a minor when he suc- 
ceeded. At the age of eighteen, he led two hundred 
of his clan, accompanied by his cousin, John Chisholm 
of Knockfin, under the Earl of Mar in 1715, to Sheriff 
Muir, though both had signed, with many other chiefs 
and gentlemen, an address expressive of much loyalty to 
George I. and his family before he left for England to 
take possession of the throne of Great Britain, in the 
previous year. This document was, it is said, never seen 
by the King, but had been withheld by persons about 
the Court who were inimical to the Highland chiefs — a 
slight which they eagerly resented, believing that they 
had been unceremoniously insulted by His Majesty, who 
took no notice of their declared loyalty, but on the con- 
trary, dismissed their leader, the Earl of Mar, from his 
office of Secretary of State after the King's arrival in 

* Mackenzie's History of the Mackenzie's, pp. 279-280, and 425. 


England. This letter was signed by Sir John, Chief of 
the Macleans ; Alastair Dubh Macdonell of Glengarry ; 
Donald Cameron of Lochiel ; Coll Macdonald of Keppoch, 
and his son, Alexander; Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat; 
Lachlan Mackintosh of Mackintosh ; Alexander Mackenzie 
of Fraserdale ; John Macleod of Contullich ; John Grant of 
Glenmoriston ; Duncan Macpherson of Cluny ; Roderick 
Chisholm of Comar, and John Chisholm of Knockfin, and 
was in the following terms : — 

My Lord, — So soon as we heard of the afflicting news of the 
death of her late Majesty, Queen Anne, it did exceedingly com- 
fort us, that after so good and great a queen, who had the hearts 
and consulted the true happiness of all her people, we were to be 
governed by his sacred Majesty, King George, a prince so brightly 
adorned with all the royal virtues, that Britain, under his royal ad- 
ministration, shall still be flourishing at home, and able to hold 
the balance in the affairs of Europe. Allow us, my lord, to please 
ourselves with this agreeable persuasion, that his Majesty's royal 
and kindly influence shall reach to us, who are the most remote, 
as well as to others of his subjects in this island. We are not 
ignorant that there are some people forward to misrepresent us, 
from particular private views of their own, and who, to reach their 
own ends against us on all occasions, endeavour to make us in 
the Highlands of Scotland, pass for disaffected persons. 

Your lordship has an estate and interest in the Highlands, and 
is so well known to bear good-will to your neighbours, that in 
order to prevent any ill impressions, which malicious and ill-design- 
ing people may at this juncture labour to give of us, we must 
beg leave to address your lordship, and entreat you to assure the 
Government, in our names, and in that of the rest of the clans, 
who, by distance of place, could not be present at the signing of 
this letter, of our loyalty to his sacred Majesty King George. 
And we do hereby declare to your lordship, that as we were 
always ready to follow your directions in serving Queen Anne, so 
we will now be equally forward to concur with your lordship in 
faithfully serving King George, and we entreat your lordship would 
advise us how we may best offer our duty to his Majesty upon 
his coming over to Britain ; and on all occasions we will beg to 
receive your counsel and direction how we may be most useful 
to his Royal Government. We are, with all truth and respect, etc. 

Roderick Chisholm does not seem to have made up 
any title to the estates, and the result of his share in the 


Rising- of 17 15 was that a great portion of his posses- 
sions was forfeited to the Crown. And his lands would 
have been all lost were it not that the three Knockfins, 
Affric, Ouillove, and others were at the time, and as far 
back as 1678, under wadset to Chisholm of Knockfin. 
The following is a copy of the grant — 

Contract of proper wadset betwixt Alexander Chisholm of Comar 
and Colin Chisholm, whereby the former wadsets and impignorates 
to the latter and his heirs and his assigns whatsomever the half 
davoch, town and lands of Knockfin, commonly called Easter, 
Middle, and Wester Knockfin, with certain other grazings, redeem- 
able for 12,000 merks Scots, dated 19th August 1678. 

The lands of Erchless, Comar, Breakachy, Glencannich, 
Invercannich, and all the others belonging to The Chis- 
holm, were specially mentioned in the forfeiture to the 
Crown. These were afterwards sold by public auction 
by the Commissioners of Forfeited Estates, and a dis- 
position of them was made on the 21st of July, 1724, 
to James Baillie, of the Dochfour family, at the time 
practising as a Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, who 
bought them on behoof of the family. He afterwards 
disponed them to George Mackenzie of Allangrange, a 
confidential friend of the House of Chisholm. The deed 
in favour of Baillie is registered in the records of Chancery, 
on the 7th of August, 1724, and entered in the Auditor's 
office in the Exchequer on the 12th of the same month. 
There is an instrument of resignation of all these lands 
and estates by James Baillie in favour of George Mac- 
kenzie of Allangrange, proceeding on the procuratory of 
resignation contained in the original deed, on a disposi- 
tion and assignation of the same by the former to the 
latter, on the 2nd of September, 1724. This instrument 
is dated the 26th of July, 1725, and a charter of resigna- 
tion under the Great Seal in favour of George Mackenzie 
follows on the same day. Sir George Mackenzie next dis- 
poses of the estates to Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach, 
immediate younger brother of the forfeited Roderick ; and 
on the 21st of July, 1727, we find an instrument of sasine 


in favour of Muckerach, which was registered in the 
Particular Register of Sasines at Fortrose, on the 27th 
of September following. The whole of these lands and 
estates are ultimately granted, as was intended by all 
the parties from the beginning, to Alexander Chisholm t 
Younger of Comar. There is a disposition dated the 9th 
of November, 1742, and registered in the Books of Session 
on the 25th of July, 1774, by Alexander Chisholm of 
Muckerach, entailing the estates in favour of Alexander 
Chisholm, eldest son of Roderick Chisholm, and the heirs 
male of his body, whom failing, the other heirs mentioned 
in the deed. A procuratory of resignation by the one in 
favour of the other follows on the 13th of May, 1743, 
and an instrument of resignation in favour of the said 
Alexander Chisholm, Younger of Comar, on the 22nd of 
June following. Then follows a charge of resignation 
under the Great Seal in his favour of the same date, 
and sealed on the 19th of July. Sasine succeeds on the 
29th of August, and is registered in the General Register 
of Sasines on the 16th of September, all in 1743. 

During the same period, similar transactions were carried 
out regarding the lands of the Breackachies and Glen- 
cannich. Chisholm of Muckerach secured possession of 
these also, and, on the 20th of July, 1727, he disposes 
of the Breackachies, with their teinds and pertinents, to 
Robert Schevez of Muirtown. A sasine follows next day, 
and it is duly registered on the 6th of September in the 
same year. Robert Schevez disposes of these lands on 
the 2nd of November, 1747, to John Baillie, Writer to 
the Signet, who next conveys them to Alexander Chis- 
holm, Younger of Comar, on the 10th of May, 1749. 

On the 7th of December, 1763, Alexander Chisholm of 
Muckerach and Alexander Chisholm, Younger of Comar, 
disposes of the lands of Breackachies and Glencannich 
to Captain James Chisholm, old Roderick's second son, 
in life-rent, and his brother the said Alexander Chisholm, 
Younger of Comar and his heirs in fee. An instrument 
of sasine in favour of the two brothers is registered in 


the Particular Register of Sasines on the 4th of April, 
1764. There is a second disposition by the same parties 
and on the same date as in the former case, in favour 
of William Chisholm, Alexander and Captain James' next 
brother, then practising- as a surgeon in Inverness (of 
which he became Provost), of the lands of Buntait in 
life-rent, and to Alexander, his brother, in fee. A charter 
of resignation, under the Great Seal, Muckerach in 
favour of William and Alexander follows, dated the 2nd, 
and sealed on the 5th of March, 1764. A sasine thereon 
succeeds on the 28th of the same month and is registered 
in the same Register as the other on the 4th of April 

In 1725 Roderick took the necessary steps towards pro- 
curing a pardon for the part he had taken in the Rising 
under Mar in 171 5. With this object he wrote a letter, 
of which the following is a copy, to Marshall Wade, then 
employed in disarming and receiving the submission of 
the clans, and opening up roads through the Highland 
glens for the more easy passage of the Royal troops. 
Roderick wrote : — 

Sir, — The success your undertakings have always had has been 
more owing to your courteous and affable behaviour than the 
terror of your arms. I presume to throw myself under your pro- 
tection, fully confident that so much goodness cannot decline 
representing my unhappy case to the best of Kings. I mean 
rebellion, which I now detest, and, Sir, I hope that my repentance 
will be judged the more solid that I am now in a mature age, 
whereas I had not attained to the years of manhood when, un- 
naturally, I allowed myself to be led to bear arms against His 
Majesty King George. I have disposed my clan to disarm, and 
for myself and them I promise faithfully henceforward to behave 
ourselves as becomes dutiful subjects to His Majesty King George, 
begging in the most profound manner his most gracious pardon 
for my life (my estate having been sold), which I assure myself of 
from instances of His Majesty's clemency to those of equal guilt 
with myself. Pardon, Sir, this trouble which your great and uni- 
versal good character draws upon you, and alter not from yourself 
in neglecting the distress of one who is proud of being, Sir, your 
most obliged and most obedient servant, 

(Signed) Roderick Chisholm. 

Strathglass, 30th August, 1725. 


In response to this appeal Roderick and others received 
a pardon under the Privy Seal, dated the 4th of January, 
1727, and engrossed in a highly ornamental style, in the 
following terms : — 

Pardonamus remittimus, relaxamus, pranfato, Robert Stuart de 
Appin, Alexander Macdonald de Glenco, John Grant, Domino, 
Anglice Laird, de Glenmorriston, Joanno Mackinnon, Anglice Laird 
de Mackinnon, Roderick Chisholm de Strathglass, etc. 

The way being thus cleared, George Mackenzie of 
Allangrange, on the 27th of July, 1727, as already stated, 
disposed of the lands to Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach, 
Roderick's brother, who obtained infeftment on the 6th of 
September following, handing over the open charter in 
his own favour of 2nd September, 1724. The wadsets of 
the Knockfins were redeemed by Muckerach, and John 
Chisholm of Knockfin granted him a discharge and re- 
nunciation of these lands, dated the 1st and recorded the 
6th of August, 1728. 

On the 3rd of May, in the last-named year, Chisholm 
of Muckerach, by consent of Roderick, now pardoned, 
granted Chisholm of Knockfin a wadset of the lands of 
Buntait in Glenurquhart, by a document entitled " Con- 
tract of wadset twixt Chisholm (Muckerach) and John 
Chisholm of Knockfin, of the Davoch, town and lands of 
Buntait, mill and pertinents — Wadset to Knockfin for 
12,000 merks." 

On the 26th of May, 1721, a Bailie Court was held at 
Erchless for the whole lands of Roderick Chisholm, late 
of Strathglass, by William Ross, of Easter Fearn, Bailie 
appointed by the Commissioners on forfeited estates when 

The said William Ross, of Easter Fearn, aforesaid, insists and 
craves that John Chisholm, of Knockfin, make payment to him of 
the rents of the lands of Wester, Easter, and Middle Knockfin, 
the shealings and grazings of Cullovie, and shealings and grazings 
of Arnamulach (Affric.) John Chisholm, present, acknowledges 
possession of the lands, and contends that he cannot be obliged 
to make payment of the rents of any part thereof, in regard he 
possesses the same by virtue of a contract of wadset passed betwixt 


the deceased Alexander Chisholm of Comer, grandfather of the 
person attainted, and Colin Chisholm of Knockfin, his (own) father 
whereby the said lands and impignorate and wadset to him for the 
sum of 12,000 merks Scots money, and redemption of the lands, 
he has good right to uplift the rents for his own use, for proving 
whereof he produces his father's sasine [dated 24th July, 1679] in 
the said lands, under the hand of Alexander Fraser, notary public, 
and registered at Chanonry, the 15th August, 1679. 

Roderick took up arms again in 1745, notwithstanding 
the professions of loyalty poured forth in his letter to 
Marshall Wade in 1725, and his fulsome praises in the 
same document of "the best of kings." Though two of 
his sons, Captains James and John, held commissions in 
the Duke of Cumberland's army, his youngest son, 
Roderick Og, led the clan to the fatal field of Culloden, 
where the brave youth received a mortal wound at the 
commencement of the battle. It is not surprising, keep- 
ing in view Roderick's conduct in connection with the 
Rising of 171 5, and the lenient manner in which he was 
dealt with by the Government for his treasonable con- 
duct on that occasion, that he should be among the 
chiefs excluded from the Act of Pardon passed in 
1747 in favour of so many of the other leaders engaged 
against the Government in 1745-46, under Prince Charles. 
Through the interest of Lord President Forbes of Cul- 
loden, however, he again soon after got off very easily 
by the mere payment of a fine. 

The following, recorded by Mr. Colin Chisholm in his 
Traditions of Strathglass, is characteristic of Old Roderick 
and his friend, the Laird of Gairloch, and illustrates the 
familiar relations which in those days existed between 
chjefs of clans and their retainers. The author of these 
interesting local reminiscences informs us that Old Rory 
was in treaty with the laird of Gairloch for the purchase 
of Glasletter, at that time belonging to him, in Glencannich. 
The then Laird of Gairloch was Sir Alexander Mackenzie, 
ninth baron and second baronet, locally known as "An 
Tighearna Breac." About 1720 he purchased some lands 
in the low country of Ross, and continued for a few years 



afterwards to add to his estates. This rendered it neces- 
sary for him to dispose of the most distant portion of the 
barony of Gairloch, situated in Strathglass. The Chis- 
holm made up his mind, if possible, to buy it. With 
this view the two met, and proceeded to the place. 
Passing - through the west end of Glencannich on their 
way, they called on " Fearachar na Cosaig," a very eccen- 
tric character, who convoyed them for about two miles 
up the glen. When about to part with Farquhar, Sir 
Alexander asked him :— " Ciod i do bharail ormsa Fhear- 
achar ? tha mi dol a chreic na Glasleitreach ! " " Ma ta," 
arsa Fearachair, "Alastair, cha 'n eil ach barail a bhruic 
de ladhran, barail bhog. Ach ciod a tha thu faighinn air 
a son ? am bheil thu faighinn uiread Beinn-Fhionnla 
air a son?" "Cha 'n eil idir," arsa Tighearna Ghearr- 
loch, "cha 'n eil mi faighinn uiread na cloiche sin air 
a son,".'s e bualadh a bhrog air sconn cloiche bha'n laimh 
ris. "Tha thu faoin Alastair," arsa Fearachair, " Ged 
thoisicheadh tu an diugh aig bun Beinn-Fhionnla, agus 
a bhi gabhail di fad laithean do bheatha, cha chaith thu 
i, ach faodaidh tu uiread na cloiche sin, a chaitheamh an 
uin ghoirid agus bithidh a Ghlasleitir a dhith ort." "Tha 
thu ceart, ro cheart, Fhearachair," arsa Tighearna Ghearr- 
loch, "agus bithidh 'bhuil." Thug an Siosalach suil air 
Fearachair mar gun abradh e. " Rinn thu 'n tubaist." 
Thuig Fearachair mar bha, agus thuirt e, "Ach co ris 
a ghaolaich, Alastair, tha thu dol a reic na Glasleitreach ? " 
" Ri do charaide fhein, an Siosalach," arsa Tighearna 
Ghearrloch. " Puthu ! mas ann mar sin a tha," arsa 
Fearachair, " 's beag eadar ribh i ; 's cloinn chairdean 
sibh fein. Turas math dhuibh a dhaoine uaisle," arsa 
Fearachair, 's e cur cul a chinn ri na tighearnan. Auglice 
— " What do you think of me now," said the Laird of 
Gairloch addressing Farquhar, " I am going to sell the 
Glasletter?" "My opinion of you is the same as the 
badger's opinion of his hoofs, a soft one ; but how much 
are you getting for it, are you getting as much as Ben- 
Finlay (of gold) for it" (one of the highest mountains in 


the district)? "Oh! no, Farquhar, not even the size of 
this stone," striking his foot against a boulder that lay 
near them. " Well, then, I beg- to tell you that you are 
very foolish, for if you were to begin this day at the foot 
of Ben-Finlay and continue at it for the rest of your life, 
you could not spend it, but you could soon spend the 
size of this stone in gold, and then it and the Glasletter 
would be gone from you for ever." "You are right, 
quite right, Farquhar," replied the Laird of Gairloch. 
The Chisholm looked askance at his vassal, as much as 
to say, "you have spoiled my bargain." Farquhar, dis- 
covering that he had committed a mistake, then said, 
" But, my dear Alexander, who are you going to sell 
the Glasletter to?" "To your friend, The Chisholm," 
replied Mackenzie. " Oh, then," answered Farquhar, " if 
that is the case, it's a very small matter between the two 
of you, children of relations as you are. A good journey 
to you, gentlemen ; " and Farquhar turned on his heels 
and left them. The result was that Gairloch did not 
offer the Glasletter to The Chisholm again for some five 
or six years after this interview, when Roderick succeeded 
in buying it. 

Soon after the purchase Roderick entered into an 
agreement with a contractor to drain Loch Mulardich, 
a fresh water lake in Glencannich which measures from 
east to west about five miles, and in some parts about one 
mile in breadth. It was thought that by draining the 
loch some valuable grazings could be reclaimed and 
added to the already fine pastures about its upper end. 
The great depth of the lake at the intercepting rock was 
an encouragement to proceed with the operations. The 
contractor began with great vigour by blasting the inter- 
vening mass, and removed piece after piece, until there 
was only a thin breast of the obstructing rock left to keep 
back the water. Part of the smithy wall which the 
workmen erected for sharpening their tools still remains. 
Everything was going on so successfully that the draining 
of the loch was considered almost an accomplished fact, 


when the contractor accidentally lost his life. Subsequently 
Roderick was on a visit to his father-in-law, Macdoneli 
of Glengarry, when he accompanied a shooting party 
on an expedition to Cuileachaidh, where a man resided 
named Alastair Mor, who considered himself no mean 
poet. Approaching The Chisholm he addressed him 
with reference to these operations, in the following 
lines: — 

Mo ghaol an Siosalach Glaiseach, 
Chunnaic mi an Cuileachaidh an de thu, 
Cha 'n eil agad ach aon nighean, 
Gheibh thu Tighearna dha 'n te sin ; 
Thug thu 'n cuid fhein do na Tailich 
'S mor gu'm b fhearr leo agad fhein e, 
Leig thu ruith do Loch Mhulardaich, 
'S rinn thu fasach dha 'n spreidh dhi. 

John Tulloch, the contractor, a native of Redcastle, was 
a man of great energy and reputation in his business. 
While the operations at Loch Mulardich were in progress 
he joined a salmon-spearing party at the Falls of Kil- 
morack, and accidentally over-balanced himself while aiming 
at a salmon, when he fell into the caldron below, and 
with his life ended the scheme for draining this loch. 

After the Rising, in 1746, a body of troops was sent 
into the Strathglass district under command of Captain 
Campbell, a notorious blood-thirsty Government officer, 
immortalised by the Aireach Muileach, a Mull Gaelic 
poet, in the following scathing lines : — 

Caimbeulach dubh Earraghaidheal 

Mac a mhurtair, odha mhearlaich, 

Air an t-sraichd a fhuair e arach 

'S bhiodh e 'm pairt ri mearlaich a chruidh. 

When Beaufort Castle and all the buildings on the 
Lovat estates had been reduced to ashes by Govern- 
ment forces, a strong party under Campbell was sent 
out from camps formed at Convent Bank, Dounie, and 
Raonfearna, at Struy, to burn and destroy everything 


they could lay their hands on. So completely did Camp- 
bell and his party do their work, that they drove before 
them to Browlin every cow and other animal worth eating, 
and burned every house and hut in the glen. But before 
setting fire to them the dwellings were ransacked, and 
any articles of value found in them were carried away by 
the soldiers. After selecting such of the smaller valuables 
as were to be forwarded to the camp at Raonfearna, a 
white horse was loaded with a portion of the spoil and 
sent in charge of two of the soldiers across Bacaidh — 
one of the hills between Glencannich and Glenstrathfarrar, 
and the ridge of which is the boundary in that part be- 
tween the lands of Chisholm and Lord Lovat. This road 
was probably chosen by the soldiers from prudential 
reasons, and to avoid the burning embers of the smoul- 
dering villages through Glenstrathfarrar. But whatever the 
motives, the expected security for the unfortunate men 
turned out worse than useless. They were met on the 
Chisholm's side of the hill by two Glenstrathfarrar men close 
to a place called Ruidh-Bhacaidh. These men disputed 
the right of the redcoats to the booty which they were 
carrying away on the white horse. Mortal combat ensued, 
and one of the soldiers very soon fell to rise no more. 
The other took to his heels with the speed of a hare 
before the hounds, leaving his pursuers far behind. He 
soon landed at Lub-mhor, a shieling between Lietrie and 
Carrie. Here there remained only a few women and 
children herding cattle. On the approach of the half- 
naked and half-maddened fugitive, shouting and praying 
for mercy and protection, the women and children at the 
shieling betook themselves to the hills, and the soldier, 
if possible, increased his speed, following the course 
of the river, shouting and roaring until he reached the 
camp at Raonfearna, twelve miles distant. 

The soldier having soon out-distanced his pursuers, the 
natives returned and resumed their ugly work. The white 
horse was taken to a bog, the valuables stript off his back, 
a pit dug, and a dirk thrust in each side of his heart, 


when he was thrown into the pit. A second pit was 
prepared for the dead soldier, to which he was dragged 
and thrown in. The story was related by an eye-witness, 
a girl named Cameron, who happend at the time to be 
herding her father's goats on the slope of Tudar, an 
adjacent hill. From the first sight she had of the soldiers 
she crouched down in a hollow to hide herself, where 
she remained quietly until she saw the corpse of a fellow- 
creature pulled by the ankles and thrown into the yawning 
bog. Unable to control her feelings any longer, she 
gave way to a wild coronach, and in a frenzy left her 
hiding-place and ran away. Observing her, and alarmed 
at their unexpected discovery, the gravediggers gave chase, 
seizing and questioning her as to the cause of her grief. 
She assured them that she had fallen asleep while herd- 
ing her father's goats, and that she could not now find 
them, a dereliction of duty for which she was sure to 
incur her mother's displeasure. Upon this excuse, and 
in the hurry to finish their unholy work, the men allowed 
her to return to Carrie, where her father was a farmer. 

The result of this tragedy upon the soldiers was per- 
fectly natural. It caused great commotion in the four 
camps in the district, as well as at Inverness. Every 
officer and man was seized with a determination to re- 
taliate, and eagerly wished for any opportunity to avenge 
the death of their comrade. The news was promptly 
conveyed to Major Lockhart, who was at the time com- 
manding-officer at Inverness. He at once ordered the 
companies in which two of Roderick's sons, James and 
John, held commissions, to proceed next morning to their 
father's estate at the head of a body of troops to burn 
his castle and plunder his property. The selection was 
considered cruel, even in military circles. The young 
officers sought and procured an interview with Lockhart, 
and urged upon him to institute such an enquiry as they 
were sure would bring the murderers to condign punish- 
ment, but without avail. He instantly ordered them 
out of his presence. Nothing but fire and sword would 


satisfy him. But as he was retiring to bed the same 
night, a bullet from a window opposite his lodgings 
in Bridge Street, Inverness, found a billet in his body. 
The house from which the bullet came was occupied by 
Chisholm's two sons and other officers of the Royal Army. 
About the same time two murders were committed by 
a soldier at the farm of Tombuie and at another place in 
Glencannich. The account preserved of them among the 
people and handed down to the present generation at 
once illustrates the brutality of Cumberland's soldiers and 
the superstitions which then prevailed among the natives 
of Strathglass. The tenant of the farm and members of 
his family were shearing corn on the dell of Tombuie, 
when, much to their horror, they observed a party of 
soldiers approaching their house. They immediately made 
for the hills. But the frantic screaming of a woman, who 
had gone to the field to assist her husband and the other 
members of her family, reminded them that her baby 
was left fast asleep at home. There was no way of 
reaching the house or extricating the infant before the 
redcoats could reach it. The people, greatly terrified, 
made all haste to the rocks at the east side of Glaic- 
na-Caillich. While concealed here, they noticed one of 
the soldiers entering the house within which the child 
was peacefully asleep. It afterwards transpired that in 
drawing his sword from the scabbard to murder the 
occupant of the cradle, the rays of the sun, flashing on 
the polished steel, reflected a blaze of light upon its face. 
The little creature clapped its tiny hands and laughed at 
the pretty light which thus played upon its eyes. At the 
sight of the baby's smiles the would-be assassin stood 
awed, and hesitating between the orders he had received 
and the dictates of conscience and humanity, he put the 
sword back into its scabbard, and was walking out of 
the house when he was met by a companion, who asked 
him if he had found any one inside. Answering in the 
negative, his suspicious comrade dashed into the house 
and emerged from it with brutal triumph carrying the 


mangled body of the innocent child transfixed on the 
point of his sword. Not satisfied with this horrid act, 
the monster turned to his companion and threatened to 
report him for sparing the life of the infant. His more 
humane comrade, however, incensed at the fiendish spec- 
tacle before him, instantly unsheathed his sword, planted 
the point of it against the breast of the cowardly murderer, 
and vowed that in another moment he would force the 
blade to the hilt through his merciless heart if he did 
not at once withdraw his threat, and promise on his oath 
never to repeat it. Thus the ruffian was compelled at 
the point of the cold steel to beg for his own dastard 

Here is another Strathglass tradition. When the Cloth- 
ing Act was in force and the feileadh-beag and breacan 
-uallach were proscribed by law, a company of soldiers 
were loitering on their way through Glencannich. They 
spied a young man dressed in tartan kilt and hose, 
engaged loading a sledge cart with black stem brackens 
which were to be used for thatch. Two girls were assist- 
ing him in collecting them, and on their unchallenged 
statement it has been carried down to the present day, 
that, as they began to make the load, standing on Tom-na- 
cloich-moire, in Badan-a-gharaidh, half-way between Lietrie 
and Shalvanach, their young man companion turned sud- 
denly round towards them and exclaimed — " Oh, God ! 
look at the dead man in the cart, look at his kilt, hose, 
and garters." But the girls could see nothing except 
the brackens he had himself just placed there. 

The youth was chaffed and heartily laughed at for his 
credulity. Soon finishing his load, he led his horses down 
the hill, until he came to the side of a lake at Fasadh- 
coinntich, at the end of which is a small promontory 
jutting out into the water. When turning this point he 
observed for the first time that his movements were being 
watched, and he was almost immediately surrounded by 
a cordon of soldiers, disposed in line to prevent any 
attempt on his part to escape. Determined not to be 


caught alive or disgrace his dress by surrender, he jumped 
into the water and swam across the lake, but while climb- 
ing a small rock on the opposite shore he was fired at 
by the soldiers, when he fell back into the water, and 
perished in presence of his pursuers. His companions, 
observing his fate, ran off and informed the people of 
Lietrie of what had happened. His neighbours, proceed- 
ing to the spot, found his lifeless body at the edge of 
the water where he fell. They then turned the brackens 
out of the cart, placed his body in it, just as it was 
taken from the water, dressed in kilt and hose, and the 
unfortunate youth was thus carried to his own residence. 
The same belief in the supernatural is further illus- 
trated by the following interesting legends. On the 
return to their homes of those who survived Culloden, 
the people of Strathglass were not at all surprised to 
learn that Ian Beag, The Chisholm's piper, should have 
performed feats quite beyond the powers of any other 
of his craft. He had, in addition to his natural abilities, 
other great advantages. Exceptional and extraordinary 
powers had always been attributed to the Black Chanter, 
the famous " Feadan Dubh." The tradition regarding 
it was that long ago a chief of Chisholm stayed for a 
time in Rome, and on his return brought home, among 
other valuables, the celebrated Black Chanter, which com- 
bined in itself all manner of musical charms. But though 
manufactured of the hardest and blackest ebony, it was 
not impervious to the gnawing effects of time. Conse- 
quently it had been strapped with bands and hoops of 
silver by successive chiefs. This gave it the familiar name 
of " Maighdean a Chuarain," or the Maiden of the Sandal. 
It is said that along with its musical charms it had 
other qualities the reverse of charming. When a mem- 
ber of the chiefs family was about to die, the Black 
Chanter would be quite silent, or if not entirely mute the 
best piper that ever handled a set of pipes could not get 
a correct note out of it. So say the legends. A 
native poet, Donald Chisholm, determined to perpetuate 


his admiration of the Feadan Dubh, says in one of his 
sweet effusions — 

Fraoch Eadailteach binn, 
'S e gu h-airgiodach grinn, 
Cha robh an Alba 
Na fhuair cis deth an ceol. 

James Logan, author of The Scottish Gael, in an un- 
published manuscript note left by him, makes the following 
reference to this famous instrument. "There is," he says, 
" a curious relic preserved from time immemorial at Erch- 
less Castle. It is a feadan or bagpipe chanter, to the 
possession of which a superstitious importance is attached 
by the clan. Whenever the laird died, this sympathetic 
instrument is said to have announced the event, at what- 
ever distance it might then be, and it is related that the 
piper, when one night playing it at a wedding in a part 
of the. country far distant from Strathglass, heard his 
chanter suddenly crack, on which, starting up, he ex- 
claimed : ' It is time for me to be gone, for The Chisholm 
is no more ! ' It was found that he died at that very 
moment. This instrument, cracking so often, is now con- 
siderably shattered, and has been very carefully bound 
together, whence it has got the name of ' Maighdean a 
Chuarain,' from a fancied resemblance to the lacing of 
the cuaran, or Highland buskin, now disused. The Chis- 
holms," he continues, " were accounted excellent musicians, 
and the chiefs had often both fiddler and piper in their 
establishment, and two of these, being contemporaries, 
were remarkable for having each had five wives." 

Comar, in the heart of the district, was usually the 
residence of the chiefs of Chisholm when the heir- 
apparent was unmarried. When the heir was married 
his father always established him in Comar, while, until 
the Castle was built, he himself resided at the old House 
of Erchless. The practice was continued long afterwards 
Thus a Highland Court on a moderate scale was estab- 
lished in the very centre of the people. From these 


centres of genuine hospitality a virtuous and exemplary 
mode of life used to flow. If tradition speaks aright the 
ties of friendship and mutual confidence never stood on 
a firmer basis anywhere between landlord and tenant than 
they generally did in the country of the Chisholms. The 
alacrity with which, when asked, the tenants furnished 
their chief with the requisite number of men to procure 
commissions for such of his sons as made choice of the 
profession of arms was simply wonderful, and nothing 
could illustrate the feeling of good-will which existed 
between them better than their action on such occasions. 
Roderick was one of the most popular of the Chisholm 
chiefs. Domhnull Gobha, a popular local poet said of 

him — 

Chaill sinn Rnairi an aigh, 
Fear a dh'fhuasgladh gach cas, 
An diugh cha'n aithne 
Dhomh 'aicheadh beo. 

He married first, Elizabeth, daughter of the famous 
Alastair Dubh Macdonell, XI. of Glengarry, by his second 
wife, Lady Mary, daughter of Kenneth Mor, third Earl 
of Seaforth, with issue — 

i. Alexander, his heir and successor. 

2. James, who had a commission in the army, dated 
the 25th of October, 1744. He afterwards served in the 
Gordon Fencibles, was for several years Governor of Fort- 
Augustus, and, after he retired from the service, lived for 
many years at Wester Moniack. He subsequently died, 
unmarried, at Inverness, in February, 1789. 

3. John, who held a commission in the same regiment 
as his brother James. They were both lieutenants in the 
King's army in 1746, when they fought under the Duke 
of Cumberland at the battle of Culloden, on which occa- 
sion their youngest brother was killed fighting for Prince 

4. William, who was bred to the medical profession, 
which he practised with much success. He was Provost 
of Inverness from 1773 to 1776, and again from 1779 to 


1782, and he died there in T807. He married, first, 
Janet, daughter of John Mackintosh, IX. of Kyllachy, by 
whom he had issue — a son William who also followed 
and became eminent in the medical profession. He prac- 
tised for many years in Clifton, near Bristol. William 
had a daughter who married Thomas Waddington, son 
of the Rev. Joshua Waddington, Vicar of Haworth 
and Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire, by his wife, Ann, 
daughter of the Rev. Thomas Ferrand, Vicar of Bingley, 
in whose right Thomas, who was at the same time the 
owner of cotton spinning mills at St. Ledger, near 
Rouen, in France, succeeded to the estate of Towes in 
Lincolnshire. By his marriage with Miss Chisholm, 
Thomas Waddington (who died in 1868) had issue, 
among others, Henry William Waddington, at one time 
Prime Minister of France. He was appointed French 
Ambassador to the British Court in July, 1883, and holds 
that position now. By his first wife Provost Chisholm 
hada daughter Mary, who married, as his first wife, John 
Mackintosh of Aberarder, who also became Provost of 
Inverness. Provost Chisholm married, secondly, Catherine, 
daughter of Baillie of Dochfour, with issue — a son, Alex- 
ander, who emigrated to Demerara and died there, without 
male issue, on the 1 6th of July, 1799. By this marriage 
the Provost had also four daughters, Emilia, who married 
William Mackintosh of Balnespick ; Jamesina, who married 
an officer named Macpherson, who afterwards rose to the 
rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the army ; Sarah, who 
married Colin Munro of Granada. " She accompanied 
her husband, Mr. Munro of Granada, several times to 
the West Indies, was a lady of great beauty, and so 
attractive in manner as to be the toast and admiration 
of all who had the happiness of her acquaintance."* Isa- 
bella, who eloped with and married Captain Henry Morrit 
of Rokeby, with issue — two daughters, the Mina and 
Brenda of Sir Walter Scott in the "Pirate." 

* Letters of Two Centuries, by Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P., p. 291. 
A. & W. Mackenzie, Inverness. 


In a letter from Mrs. Macbean, wife of Robert Mac- 
bean of Nairnside, to her husband, dated Inverness, May 
5th, 1798, Miss Chisholm's elopement is fully described. 
Another interesting" incident which occurred on the same 
day — Glengarry's duel with Lieutenant Macleod, Flora 
Macdonald's grandson — is referred to in the same letter. 
Mrs. Macbean, herself a Mackintosh of Dalmigavie, 
writes : — 

Such wonderful events have happened here within these ten days 
past ; the like have not been heard of in this corner of the world 
this many a year — an elopement and a duel in one day. I am sure 
your curiosity is raised, but you must have a little patience until 
I relate the circumstances as they happened. Well, to begin, there 
was a grand ball, given by the officers and some of the county 
gentlemen — among the rest Glengarry. He paid Miss Forbes, Cul- 
loden, a deal of attention. Lieutenant Macleod, of the 42nd, asked 
her to dance and she did. Glengarry wished her not, and spoke 
rough to Macleod. After the ball was over they quarrelled. Mac- 
leod challenged Macdonald ; they fought, and Macleod has got a 
severe wound, but not mortal ; the other has escaped without a 
scratch ; some people would not be sorry if he got a slight wound. 

Well, now for the elopement. Can you guess who ? But to keep 
you no longer in suspense, the night after the ball Captain Morrit 
and Miss Bell Chisholm set off at twelve o'clock at night in a carriage 
and four, accompanied by another officer. She was not missed until 
eight o'clock in the morning, and you may be sure her parents were 
in great distress. Provost John, Mr. Munro, and Mr. Fraser, Kirk- 
hill, set off after them — they went the coast road. It is said the 
young people asked Mr. Stalker in Fort-George to marry them, 
but he would not. They were in Elgin that morning at eight 
o'clock, and would be in Aberdeen that night. Where they intend 
for I do not know, but the other gentlemen have continued the 
chase. It was never suspected that she was fond of him, nor was 
he ever within their house or Mr. Munro's. He did all he could 
to be introduced, but when any offer Mrs. Ghisholm always de- 
clined it. Her sister (Emily) knew it ; all the officers knew it ; 
perhaps you will meet them. Their intention is to many her 
whenever they meet her, and I hope that Captain Morrit never 
intended anything but what was honourable.* 

5. Roderick Og, who held the rank of Colonel in the 

* Letters of Tzvo Centuries, by Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P., pp. 
335"336. A. & W. Mackenzie, Inverness. 


army of Prince Charles, and was killed at the battle of 
Culloden, during his father's lifetime, at the head of his 
clan. He received his fatal wound at the commence- 
ment of the battle, and was being" carried a short distance 
to the rear by Domhnull MacUilleam, when they were 
both struck by a cannon ball which killed Roderick out- 
right and seriously wounded Donald. It is said that his 
brothers, James and John, made a diligent search for 
Roderick's body, after the action in which they were 
engaged on the King's side against him, and that they 
found and buried one whom they believed to be him. 
He left no legitimate issue. 

Roderick " Mac Ian " married, secondly, his cousin, 
Isabel, daughter of Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, baronet, IV. 
of Scatwell, and widow of Kenneth Bayne of Tulloch 
(marriage contract, 1728), with issue — a daughter, Lilias, 
who married Colonel Alexander Fraser of Culduthel, 
with issue — James Fraser of Culduthel, Roderick of the 
H.E.I.C.S., and Simon, killed in a duel; also three 
daughters, Grizell, the eldest of the family ; Isabell, who 
married the Rev. Dr. Fraser, of Kirkhill ; and Jean, who 
married the Rev. Roderick Morison, of Kintail. Grizell 
married the Rev. Alexander Grant, minister of Daviot 
and Cawdor, who died in 1828, aged 84 years, 65 of 
which were in the ministry. He is mentioned in 
Dr. Johnson's Tour to the Hebrides by Boswell. By 
Grizell Fraser of Culduthel, the Rev. Alexander Grant 
had issue, among others — James Grant, minister of Nairn, 
who married Christian, daughter of John Mackintosh, 
Midcoul, with issue — four sons and one daughter. Three 
of the sons died unmarried. The daughter is married 
to the Rev. Dr. Mackenzie, Ferrintosh, without issue ; 
and the only surviving son is the distinguished Colonel 
James Augustus Grant, C.B., of Nile celebrity. Colonel 
Grant was born on nth of April, 1827, and married 
Margaret Laurie, with issue — two sons, James Augustus, 
and Alister, and three daughters, Mary, Christian, and 
Margaret. The Rev. Alexander Grant had a son, George, 


who married Robina, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Rose, of 
the High Church, Inverness, without issue; also Ann, 
who married Captain William Fraser of the 92nd Gordon 
Highlanders, and afterwards of the 6th Royal Veteran 
Batallion, stationed at Fort-George, with issue — (1) Alex- 
ander, who died unmarried ; (2) George, a merchant in 
Liverpool, who also died unmarried ; (3) Robert Fraser, 
Brackla, who married Mary, daughter of Robert Gordon 
of Croughley, Banffshire, with issue — (a) a son, William 
Alexander, who died unmarried ; (b) Mary Helen, who 
married Frederick Jerdein, a merchant in China, without 
issue ; (e) Anne Georgina ; (d) Robina Gordon, who 
married Lieutenant-Colonel Colin George Lorn Camp- 
bell, Senior Ordinance Officer of the North British head- 
quarters, Edinburgh. Colonel Campbell died on the 15th 
of August, 1890, leaving issue — a son, Charles William, 
and a daughter, Isla Gavine ; (e) Emily Forbes. (4) 
Anne, who married Alexander Mackintosh, merchant, 
Calcutta, now resident in London, with issue — three sons 
and a daughter ; (5) Grace, who died unmarried. The 
Rev. Alexander Grant's second daughter, Grace, married 
John Mackintosh of Firhall, with issue. 

Roderick died on the 19th of August, 1767, aged 
seventy years* (his wife having died in 1755), when he 
was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Who is on record in 1742, 1744, and 1746. He suc- 
ceeded to the remaining portions of the estate on the 
death of his father in 1767. It has been already told 
how the estates were purchased from the Commissioners 
of Forfeited Estates by James Baillie, W.S., on the 21st 
of July, 1724, and how George Mackenzie of Allan- 
grange subsequently, on the 21st of July, 1727, conveyed 
them to Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach, who, in the 

* Scots Magazine. 


same year was duly infeft in the lands as Crown vassal. 
By deed dated 9th of November, 1742, and registered 
in the books of Session on the 25th of July, 1774, 
Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach disponed the estates 
to Alexander Chisholm, then designated " Younger of 
Comar," during his father's lifetime. Two years earlier, 
on the 10th of January, 1740, Alexander, with the consent 
of his father, Roderick, and of his uncle, Alexander 
Chisholm of Muckerach, the trustee in possession of the 
estate, entered into a contract of marriage with Elizabeth, 
or Lilias, only daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, IV. of 
Applecross, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of 
Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, first baronet and IV. of Scatwell, 
and widow of yEneas Macleod, II. of Cadboll. On the 
nth of March, 1777, ten years after he succeeded, Alex- 
ander made a strict entail of all the old family inheritance, 
as well as of the lands which he had personally acquired 
in the county of Ross, in favour of himself and, after 
his death, in favour of Captain Duncan Chisholm, his 
eldest son, whom failing, in favour of the other heirs 
substitutes mentioned in the deed, which is recorded in 
the Register of Talzies on the 2nd of July in the same 
year, and in the Books of Council and Session on the 
22nd of August, 1787. The deed, on which so much 
has turned since, is in the following terms : — 

I, Alexander Chisholm of Chisholm, Esq., for the well and 
standing of my family, and for the preservation of my lands and 
estate after-mentioned with my own posterity and other relations 
after-mentioned, do by these presents, always with and under the 
express burdens, conditions, provisions, declarations, limitations, 
restrictions, clauses, irritant and faculties after-mentioned and no 
otherwise, Give, grant, and dispone to, and in favour of myself, 
and after my decease to Captain Duncan Chisholm, my eldest 
lawful son, and the heirs male of his body, whom failing to 
Alexander Chisholm, my second son, and to the heirs male of 
his body, whom failing, to Roderick Chisholm, my third son, and 
to the heirs male of his body, whom failing, to William Chisholm, 
my fourth son, . and the heirs male of his body, whom failing, to 
James Chisholm, my fifth son, and the heirs male of his body, 
.whom failing, to any other sons yet to be procreated of my body, 


and the heirs male of their bodies, whom failing, to Major James 
Chisholm of Carrie, my brother, and the heirs male of his body, 
whom failing, to Dr. William Chisholm, Bontait, also my brother, 
and to the heirs male of his body, whom failing, to Archibald 
Chisholm, eldest son of the deceast Alexander Chisholm of 
Muckerach, and the heirs male of his body, whom failing, to 
Lieutenant John Chisholm, second son of the said Alexander 
Chisholm of Muckerach and the heirs male of his body, whom 
all failing, to my nearest and lawful heirs whatsomever, the eldest 
heir female and the descendants of her body, excluding all other 
heirs portioners, and succeeding always without division through 
the whole course of female succession in all time coming, heritably 
and irredeemably, all and whole, the lands and estate which 
formerly pertained to Roderick Chisholm, late of Comar, viz., the 
lands and mains of Erikless, with the manour, place, yeards, and 
pertinents thereof; the lands of Breachachy, the lands of Inver- 
channich, the lands of Comar, the lands of Glencannich. the lands 
of Comar Kirktown, the lands of Wester Comar, the lands of 
Bontait, the lands of Mauld, with houses, biggings, yeards, orchards, 
lofts, crofts, outsets, insets, mosses, muirs, grazings, commonties, 
woods, parks, meadows, and whole parts, pendicles, and pertinents 
thereof belonging, all lying within the parish of Kilmorack and 
Kiltarlity, and Sheriffdom of Inverness, with any right of reversion 
of the lands of Knockfin, and Forest of Apharrick, and Breamul- 
loch, which by law was competent to the said Roderick Chisholm 
at the time of his attainder, and all right and title which the said 
Roderick Chisholm had, or might pretend to the teinds, parsonage, 
and vicarage of the lands above disponed, with the pertinents and 
sicklike, all and whole, these parts and portions of the lands and 
barony of Gerloch after specified, viz., the forest, pasturage, and 
grasings of Glassletter and Corrienacullen, with houses, biggings, 
parts, pendicles, outsetts, shealings, and pertinents of the same, 
lying in the parish of Croe, in Kintail, and Sheriffdom of Ross, 
and sicklike all and whole the town and Davoch lands of Rhin- 
down, with the towns and lands which are parts and pertinents 
thereof called Tobermorosk, Altnabreck, Scalling, Teandsdalloch, 
and Clashintorran, with the multures, sucken, thirlage, and knave- 
ships thereof, and whole houses, biggings, yards, orchards, mosses, 
muirs, meadows, shealings, commonties, woods, and whole other 
parts, pendicles, privileges, and universal pertinents belonging to 
the said lands, lying within the united parish of Urray and Kil- 
christ, and Sheriffdom of Ross, together with all right title, or 
interest which I have or may have, claim or pretend to the lands 
and others before disponed, or to any part or portion thereof, or 
to the teinds, parsonage, and vicarage of the same in time coming, 



with this provision always, as it is hereby expressly provided and 
declared, that the said Duncan Chisholm, my eldest son, and his 
heirs substitutes and successors above mentioned, shall by their 
acceptance hereof be holden obliged to content, satisfy, and pay all 
the just and lawful debts that shall be resting and owing by me 
to whatsoever person or persons the time of my decease, and par- 
ticularly the life-rent and annuity and other provisions granted by 
me to Mrs Margaret Mackenzie, my present wife, and the pro- 
visions to my younger children, and with this provision also that 
my said eldest son and his heirs substitutes and successors above 
mentioned, shall possess and enjoy the lands and others before 
disponed by virtue of these presents and the charters and infeft- 
ments to follow hereon, and by no other title whatsoever, and 
likewise with this provision, that the said Duncan Chisholm, my 
eldest son, and his heirs substitutes and successors above-men- 
tioned, as well male as female, and the descendants of their bodies 
who shall happen to succeed to the lands and others before dis- 
poned, and the husbands of such of the said heirs female (if any 
be) shall be holden and obliged to assume, and constantly retain, 
use, and bear the surname, arms, and designation of Chisholm of 
Chisholm as their own proper arms, surname, and designation 
in all time thereafter, and farther, it is hereby expressly provided 
and declared that it shall not be leisome or lawful to my said 
eldest son, or to any of the heirs substitutes or successors above 
mentioned, to alter, innovate, or change the order of succession 
above specified, or to do any other act or deed directly or 
indirectly whereby the same may be anyways altered, innovated, 
or changed, also that it shall not be leisome or lawful to my 
eldest son, or to any of the other heirs substitutes and successors 
above mentioned, to sell, dispone, wadsett, or impignorate the 
lands and others above specified, or any part thereof, to contract 
debts thereon, or to grant infeftments of annual rent furth of the 
same, or any right or security redeemable or irredeemable of the 
said lands and estate or any part thereof, nor to grant tacks or 
leases of the same for a longer space than the granter's life and 
nine years, nor even to grant tacks of any part of the said lands 
and estate until the current tacks thereof for the time shall be 
fully expired (the said tacks when granted for a longer space than 
the granter's life being always without diminution of the rental), 
nor to do any other act or deed, civil or criminal, or even treason- 
able, whereby the said lands and estate and pertinents thereof 
may be adjudged, evicted, or confiscated in any sort, as also, 
That it shall not be lawful to my said son or to any of the heirs 
substitutes or successors above mentioned to suffer the duties of 
nonentry and relief, or the feu blench or teinds duties, or other 


public burdens or duties whatsoever, payable furth of the said lands 
and estate to run on unsatisfied so as the lands and others foresaid 
may be evicted or adjudged for any of the said casualties of superiority 
or public burdens, and, That the said Duncan Chisholm, my eldest 
son, and the other heirs substitutes and successors above mentioned, 
shall be obliged to obtain themselves timeously entered, infeft, and 
seased in the said lands and estate and not to suffer the same to 
lye in nonentry, and in any adjudication or other legal diligence 
shall happen to be led and deduced for any of said burdens, duties, 
or casualties or superiority above mentioned, or for any debts due 
and contracted by me or any of my predecessors, or for any other 
debts whatsoever, That then the said Duncan Chisholm, my eldest 
son, and the other heirs substitutes and successors above mentioned 
who shall possess the said lands and estate for the time, shall be 
bound and obliged to purge and redeem the said diligences three 
years before the expiry of the legal reversion thereof, in case any 
of the said heirs shall succeed so long before expiry of the said 
legals, and if the said heirs succeed not so soon, they shall be 
obliged to purge the same within six months after his or her suc- 
cession, Declaring hereby that if the said Duncan Chisholm, my 
eldest son, and the other heirs substitutes and successors above 
mentioned, or any of them shall act or do in the contrary of the 
particulars above specified or any of them, or neglect to fulfil the 
provisions and conditions above written or any of them, Then, and 
in that case, all and every one of such debts, acts, and deeds, withal 
that shall happen to follow or may follow therein shall ipso facto 
be void and null and of no strength or effect, sicklike and in the 
same manner as if the said debts, acts, and deeds had not been 
contracted, acted, and committed, and declaring also that the person 
so contravening or failing to fulfil the conditions and provisions 
above mentioned, shall for him or herself alone, immediately upon 
the contravention or failing to fulfil and observe the said conditions 
and provisions or any of them, admit, lose, and forfeit all right or 
title he or she hath or can pretend to the said lands or estate, and 
the same shall in that case ipso facto fall, accressce, pertain, and 
belong to the next heir or substitute hereby appointed to succeed 
thereto although descending of the contravener's own body, sicklike 
and in the same manner as if the contravener were naturally dead, 
and it shall be leisome and lawful to the next heir or substitute to 
establish the right thereof in his or her person, and that either by 
declarator or serving heir to the person who died last vest and 
seased in the said lands and estate, preceding the contravener or 
by adjudication or any other manner of way consistent with the 
laws of Scotland for the time, without respect to any alteration, 
innovation, or charge foresaid to be made by the person contra- 


vening, and without the burden of any act of ommission or 
commission or any other act, debt, or deed whatsoever, which, 
according to law, may be interpreted to impart a contravention of 
the said clauses irritant or any of them, and the person so suc- 
ceeding upon the contravention is to be subjected and liable to 
the said irritancies to which my said eldest son and the whole heirs 
substitutes and successors above specified are to be subject and 
liable through the whole course of succession in all time coming, 
excepting and reserving from the said clauses irritant full power 
and liberty to the said Duncan Chisholm, my son, and to the heirs 
substitutes and successors above mentioned to grant liferent pro- 
visions to their wives or husbands by way of locality on any part 
of the said lands (excepting the mansion house of the family) not 
exceeding ^ioo stg. of yearly rent, the said locality liferent pro- 
visions being allenarly in lieu of their terce and courtesy, from 
which they are hereby excluded, as also excepting and reserving 
power and liberty to my said eldest son and the heirs substitutes 
and successors above mentioned to provide their younger children 
beside the heir in provisions to the amount in all of ^1500 stg., 
Declaring that after the foresaid faculty of granting provisions to 
younger children shall be once exercised it shall not be in the 
power of my said son or his said heirs substitutes or successors to 
burden the said lands and estate further with new provisions till 
the former provisions be satisfied and paid in whole or in part, and 
in case of partial satisfaction, new provisions may be granted only 
to such an extent as that the same, together with the former pro- 
visions in favours of younger children, shall not at any one time 
exceed the said sum of ,£1500 stg. in whole, and which provisions 
in favours of younger children are hereby expressly so qualified, and 
shall be so qualified by the bonds or other securities to be granted 
for the same that they shall never be increased to burden the said 
lands and estate by growing annual rents, nor so as any diligence 
may follow on the same against the said estate further than for 
securing the principal sums and that the annual rents and expenses 
may affect the persons or personal estates of the said heirs or sub- 
stitutes or current rents of the said estate or their separate estates, 
but in no ways really to affect the lands and estates hereby dis- 
posed, and my said son and the heirs substitutes and successors 
above mentioned shall be bound and obliged to satisfy and pay the 
annual rents of the said provisions and thereby effectually to dis- 
burden the said lands and estate thereof and not to suffer any 
diligence to pass against the same for payment of such annual 
rents or penalties wherein if they fail the right of the person so 
contravening or doing in the contrary shall ipso facto become 
void and null for him or herself alone, and the right of succession 


to the said lands and estate shall fall and devolve to the next heir 
hereby appointed to succeed although descending of the contra- 
vener's body in manner above specified in all points. And further 
in regard that by the irritancies before mentioned, it is provided that 
the contravener shall only for him or herself alone amit lose and 
forfeit their right to the said lands and estate, but that the descend- 
ants of his or her body are nowise by the contravention cut off from 
the right of succession. Therefore it is hereby expressly provided 
and declared that albeit the next heir of Tailzie existing may upon the 
contravention obtained established in his or her person the right of 
the said lands and estate by declarator, adjudicaton, service and retour, 
or any other legal manner, yet notwithstanding thereof in case a nearer 
heir of Tailzie shall happen to exist after obtaining the foresaid de- 
clarator or adjudication or service and retour upon the contravention 
as by procreation of a child or children of the contravener's body, 
In that case the person so succeeding upon the contravention shall 
not only be holden and obliged immediately thereafter to denude 
in favours of the said nearest heir and other heirs of Tailzie above 
written, under the conditions and irritancies above mentioned, so 
that the course of succession be no further diverted than to exclude 
the contravener only, but also the right of the person so succeed- 
ing upon the contravention and their heirs of Tailzie aforesaid 
shall ipso facto become extinct, void, and null so soon as the said 
nearer heir shall exist, and the right of the said lands and estate 
shall fall and devolve to the said nearer heir, who shall have access 
to establish the right thereof in his or her person in the same way 
and manner as was competent by the contravention, so that the 
right of succession shall always and unalterably fall and belong to 
the nearest heir of Tailzie, according to the course of succession 
above specified, except the contravener, whose right shall be extinct 
for him or herself alone, and nowise to prejudge the next heir in 
order although descending of the contravener's own body, Reserv- 
ing always to the person who shall succeed by virtue of the con- 
travention, the rents, and profits of the said lands and estate until 
the term of Whitsunday or Martinmas, inclusive, immediately 
preceding the birth of the said nearer heir, with the burden of 
the current annual rent of the debts, real or personal, and other 
annual burdens, which do or may affect the said lands and estate, 
and that for the years and terms to which the said remoter heir 
is provided by these presents, with and under which express con- 
ditions, provisions, burdens, restrictions, limitations, clauses, irritant 
and faculties above written, which are hereby appointed to be 
contained in the Instruments of Resignation, Charters, Infeftments, 
Retours, and other writs to follow hereupon, these presents are 
granted by me and no otherwise, and I hereby bind and oblige me 


and my heirs and successors to make due and lawful resignation of 
the lands and others before disponed in the hands of my imme- 
diate lawful superiors thereof, in favours of and for new infeftments 
of the same to be made and granted to myself, and after my 
decease to the said Duncan Chisholm, my eldest son, and the 
heirs male of his body, whom failing, to my other heirs substi- 
tutes and successors above mentioned, according to the order of 
the substitution and destination of succession above specified, whom 
failing to my nearest and lawful heirs and assignees whatsoever, 
the eldest heir female and the descendants of her body, excluding 
all other heirs portioners, and succeeding always without division 
through the whole course of succession in all time coming, and 
that with and under the express conditions, provisions, burdens, 
restrictions, limitations, clauses, irritant and faculties, above written 
allenarly, and no otherwise, and for that effect I hereby make, 
constitute, and appoint and 

each of them conjunctly and severally my lawful undoubted and 
irrevocable procurators for me and in my name to resign, surrender, 
upgive, overgive, and deliver as I by these presents resign, sur- 
render, upgive, overgive, and deliver all and whole the several lands 
and others before disponed, all lying and described as aforesaid, and 
here held as repeated brevitatis causa, together with all right, title, 
or interest which I have or may have, claim, or pretend to the lands 
and others above mentioned, or to any part or portion thereof in 
time coming, in the hands of my immediate lawful superiors, or of 
their commissioners in their names, or any others having power 
for the time to receive resignations thereof and grant new infeft- 
ments thereupon, in favours of and for new infeftments of the same, 
to be made, given, and granted to myself, and after my decease to 
the said Duncan Chisholm, my eldest son, and the heirs male of 
his body, whom failing to my other heirs snbstitutes and successors 
above mentioned, according to the order of substitution and destina- 
tion of succession above specified, which is here holden as repeated 
and with and under the conditions, provisions, burdens, restrictions, 
limitations, clauses, irritant and faculties above written, which are 
all holden as here repeated and exprest allenarly, and no otherwise, 
heritably and irredeemably in due and competent form as effeirs, 
acts, instruments, and documents, one or more, as needful in the 
premises, to ask, lift, and raise, and generally all and sundry other 
things, requisite and necessary thereanent, to do use and exerce in 
the same manner and as freely in all respects as I might do therein 
myself if I were personally present, or which to the office of pro- 
curators in such cases by the law of Scotland is known to pertain, 
all which I promise to hold firm and stable, and in like manner I 
by these presents, always with and under the conditions, provisions, 


burdens, restrictions, limitations, clauses, irritant and faculties, above 
written and no otherwise, assign, transfer, and dispone to and in 
favours of myself, and after my decease to the said Duncan Chis- 
holm, my eldest son, and the heirs male of his body, whom failing, 
my other heirs substitutes and successors above mentioned accord- 
ing to the order of the substitution and destination of the succession 
above mentioned, the whole Charters, Infeftments, Procuratories of 
Resignation, and Precepts of Sasine, as well executed as not exe- 
cuted Instruments of Resignation and Sasine dispositions, apprisings, 
adjudications, tacks, assedations, decreets of plat, prorogation, valua- 
tion or vendition, assignations, translations, and other conveyances, 
and all other writs, rights, evidents, titles, and securities whatsoever 
made, granted, and conceived, or that may be any wise interpreted 
in favours of me, my predecessors, or authors of and concerning 
the lands and others above disponed or any part or portion thereof, 
or to the teinds parsonage or vicarage of the same, or the annuities 
of the said teinds, with the whole clauses of warrandice and other 
clauses tenor and contents thereof, together with all action, diligence, 
and execution competent, or that may be competent, upon the 
premises and with all that has followed or may follow thereon. 
And lastly I hereby reserve full power and liberty to myself at any 
time of my life, even in sickness and on deathbed, to revoke, recal, 
rescind, after innovate and change these presents in whole or in 
part and to declare the same void and null at my pleasure and to 
add such other provisions, conditions, and limitations upon my said 
eldest son and the heirs succeeding him in the said lands as I shall 
think proper. But declaring that if these presents shall not be 
revoked by me the same shall remain a valid evident to my said 
eldest son and to his heirs substitutes and successors above men- 
tioned, although found in my custody or in the custody of any 
other person to whom I may have entrusted the same undelivered 
at my death with the not delivery whereof I hereby dispense for 
ever and I hereby recommend to all or any of the heirs substitutes, 
or successors above mentioned, or to the nearest agnate of any of 
them under age at the time at and upon my death to cause duly 
record this present Deed of Tailzie in terms of the Act of Parlia- 
ment, 1685, made anent Registration of Tailzies and that without 
delay and also to cause expede Charters and Infeftments thereon 
with all convenient diligence that so this present deed may have 
its full force and effect, consenting to the Registration hereof in 
the Books of Council and Session or others competent therein to 
remain for preservation, and for that effect I hereby constitute my 
procurators, etc., in witness whereof, etc. Signed at Inverness, 12th 
March, 1777. Registered in the Register of Tailzies, 2nd July, 1777, 
and in the Books of Session, 22nd August, 1787. 


This deed and the results which followed from it will 
be discussed later on. 

By Elizabeth Mackenzie of Applecross, Alexander had 
issue — 

i. Duncan, a Captain in the 71st Regiment, or Fraser 
Highlanders. He was born in 1747, and died before his 
father, in London, on the 23rd of October, 1782. Dr Gil- 
bert Stewart, author of a History of Mary Queen of Scots, 
at the time contributed the following curiously-phrased 
notice of Captain Duncan to a London newspaper — 
" Upon the 23rd day of October, died at his apart- 
ments in Oxenden Street, Haymarket, Duncan Chisholm, 
Esquire, the younger of Strathglass, and late first Captain 
of the 71st Regiment of foot. He received his education 
at Edinburgh, and profited under the instruction of the 
great masters who adorn the University of that place. 
He followed the profession of arms, and served his coun- 
try with gallantry in America. In figure he was tall and 
athletic ; in his spirit he was high and not to be insulted 
with impunity, but he was not of a humour that took 
delight in broils and quarrelling. Being the apparent 
heir to the chieftain of a numerous Highland clan, there 
was a portliness in his walk and carriage which is not 
common in this country. He exhibited the ideal of a 
Scots baron in ancient times. He was stout, fearless, 
hospitable, and bountiful. His indulgence in conviviality 
was beyond the polite bounds of fashionable manners. 
His gaiety was without capriciousness, and there was an 
honest and vehement sincerity in his laugh. His virtues 
were more solid than shining. He respected his country 
and mankind, liberty, and patriotism. His pride was with- 
out insolence ; his vivacity without sarcasm ; his resentment 
without revenge ; his firmness without obstinacy. There 
was in him much of the milk of human kindness. His 
heart was warm and his affections generous. In the 
35th year of his age he was called from this world to a 
better, and he submitted to his fate with the most entire 
resignation. His relations, his friends, and acquaintances, 


who loved him when living, will remember long", with a 
tender sorrow, his immature death and the amicableness 
of his virtues and his failings." He died unmarried. 

2. Alexander, who, on the death of his brother Duncan, 
in 1782, became his father's heir. 

3. Margaret, who married Hugh Fraser of Dunballoch 
and Newton, who fought in the Scots Guards at Fontenoy, 
which his uncle, Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Fraser, then 
commanded, being killed at that famous battle at the 
great age, for an officer on active service, of seventy- 
eight years. Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Fraser bought 
the estate of Kilmuir and West Kessock, in the Black 
Isle, county of Ross, and married Christian, daughter of 
William MacNaghten of that Ilk, with issue — Henrietta, 
who married Sir Charles Erskine of Alva, with issue — 
two daughters. By Margaret Chisholm Hugh of Dun- 
balloch, the Colonel's nephew, had issue^ — -Thomas Fraser 
of Newton, a Major in the First Royals, born on the 
20th of March, 1758 ; he succeeded his father in 1787. 
He married Katharine, daughter of Alexander Mack- 
intosh, of the family of Drakies, and Provost of Inverness, 
with issue (among twenty-two children)- — (1) Hugh Fraser 
of the H.E.I.C.S., who was born on the 27th of April, 
1797, succeeded his father in 1839 or 1 840, and died, with- 
out issue, on the 7th of December, 1843. (2) Alexander 
Fraser, born on the 15th of June, 1807, and died on 
the 7th March, 1848. He succeeded his brother Hugh 
in Newton in 1843, and married Emilia Walker (who 
still survives), with issue — Katharine and Margaret, both 
unmarried. (3) Elizabeth, who died unmarried on the 
10th of January, 1867; (4) Margaret, who married Major 
Ludovic Stewart of Pityvaich, Banffshire, with issue — 
several sons and daughters. She died in October, 1859. 
One of Mrs. Stewart's daughters, Katharine, married Alex- 
ander Ewing, Bishop of Argyle, with issue. Another, 
Elizabeth, married Henry Gordon Cumming, brother of 
Sir A. P. Cumming of Altyre, with issue ; and a third, 
Margaret Clifford, married the Rev. C. K. Robinson, 


Master of St. Catherine's College, Cambridge, with issue. 
(5) Katharine, who married Benjamin Goldsmid Elliot, 
and died at Inverness on the 7th of February, 1890, 
without issue. (6) Isabella, who married James Wilson, 
for many years agent for the Commercial Bank at Inver- 
ness, with issue — several sons and daughters. (7) Emily, 
who resides, unmarried, at Inverness. (8) Wilhelmine, 
who, on the 26th of November, 1844. married Thomas 
Porter Bonell Biscoe of the H.E.I.C.S. She died on 
the 27th of April, 1878. In 1850 he purchased the 
estate of Newton from the trustees of Alexander Fraser. 
He had issue — (a) Thomas Ramsay Biscoe, now of New- 
ton, who married Cecilia Laura, daughter of Adolphus 
Meetkerke of Julians, Herts, with issue — John Vincent 
Meetkerke, born on the 20th July, 1880, and Cecilia 
Benigna Meetkerke ; (b) William Fraser Biscoe, now of 
Kingillie, who married Mary Alice, daughter of Francis 
Crozier of Delawarr, Lymington, Hants, with issue, an 
only son, Francis Ramsay Fraser, who was born in 1 883 ; 
(c) Katharine Emma, who married William Munro, of 
Marchbank, Midlothian, without issue ; and (d) Frances 
Anne Benigna, unmarried. Hugh Fraser of Dunballoch 
and Newton had, by Margaret Chisholm of Chisholm, a 
second son, Alexander, whose descendants, since the death 
of Alexander Fraser of Newton in 1848, without male 
issue, represent the family in the male line. This Alex- 
ander, who was born on the 30th of July, 1759, settled 
at St. Christopher's, and married Miss Duff of Muirtown, 
with issue — Evan Baillie Fraser of Balconie, a Captain in 
the 88th Regiment of Foot, now residing at Redburn. 
Hugh Fraser had also, among several others, a daughter 
Margaret, who married David G. Sandeman of Springfield, 
Perthshire, by whom she had a daughter, Margaret Chis- 
holm, who married William Fraser, father of Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel William Fraser of Culbokie, now residing 
at Nairn. 

4. Anne, who married Roderick Mackenzie, II. of Scots- 
burn, with issue — Alexander Mackenzie, III. of Scotsburn, 


who sold the estate in 1843 ; Duncan Chisholm Mac- 
kenzie, Commander, Royal Navy, who died unmarried ; 
and three daughters, Elizabeth, Anne, and Lilias, the last- 
named of whom married James Walker of Dairy, with 
issue. Roderick's wife died in 18 16. Alexander of Scots- 
burn had a son, Charles Roderick Mackenzie, who, on the 
28th of March, 1846, married Madeline, daughter of Sir 
William Murray of Clermont. 

Alexander married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of 
George Mackenzie, II. of Allangrange, with issue — 

5. Roderick, mentioned in his brother Alexander's entail 
of the estates, in 1786, as his father's then second sur- 
viving son. He must, however, have predeceased his 
brother Alexander, without issue male, as his immediate 
younger brother, William, succeeded to the family inherit- 
ance and chiefship of the clan. 

6. William, mentioned in the same deed, as his father's 
third surviving son, and who, on the death of his brother 
Alexander, in 1793, without male issue, succeeded to the 
chiefship and estate. 

7. James, mentioned in the deed of entail as his father's 
fourth surviving son. He died abroad, unmarried. 

8. Mary, who, on the 20th of December, 1789, married 
Major William Robertson of Kindeace, Ross-shire, with 
issue — Charles, his heir, and Alexander, an officer in the 
24th Regiment, and 42nd Highlanders. Alexander was 
born in 1794, and died, unmarried, in 182 1. Major 
Robertson having died on the 7th of April, 1844, was 
succeeded by his eldest son Charles, who was born on 
the 26th of July, 1790. He was a Major in the 78th 
Highlanders, and was present at the capture of Java. He 
married on the 12th of August, 18 12, Helen, fourth 
daughter and co-heiress of Patrick Cruickshank of Strath- 
cathro, county of Forfar, with issue — William Cruickshank, 
born 17th of May, 18 17, and married on the 5th of Sep- 
tember, i860, Euphemia Garden, youngest daughter of 
Major Donald Mackay, of the 70th Regiment, with issue — 
two daughters ; Patrick Gerard, born on the 3rd of Feb- 


ruary, 1819, and died unmarried in Australia on the 17th 
of April, 1854; Charles Henry, born on the 14th of 
June, 1821, and died in the following year; Charles, now 
of Kindeace ; Mary Chisholm, who on the 15th of July, 
1845, married Alexander Hamilton, Edinburgh, with issue; 
and Margaret Amy, who on the 27th of July, 1852, 
married James Falconer Gillanders of Highfield, with 
issue. Major Charles Robertson of Kindeace died on 
the 17th of October, 1868, when he was succeeded by 
his eldest surviving son, Charles Robertson, now of 
Greenyards and Glencalvie, who was born on the 20th 
of April, 183 1. He married on the 10th of December, 
1868, Helena Emma, youngest daughter of Sir John 
Maryon Wilson, baronet of Charlton, Kent, with issue — 
six sons and two daughters. 

9. Lilias, who married General John Mackenzie of 
Belville, second son of Sir Alexander Mackenzie, third 
baronet and tenth baron of Gairloch, and brother of Sir 
Hector Mackenzie, fourth baronet, with issue — Alastair, 
who, after serving for a time in the army, settled and 
was appointed a magistrate in the Bahamas, where he 
married Wade Ellen, daughter of George Huyler, Consul- 
General of the United States of America, and French 
Consul at the same place, with issue — (1) the Rev. George 
William Russel Mackenzie, an Episcopalian minister; and 
(2) Lilias Mary Chisholm, unmarried. Alastair subse- 
quently left the Bahamas for Melbourne, Australia, where 
he received the appointment of Treasurer to the Govern- 
ment of Victoria, and died there about the year 1854. 

10. A daughter who, at an advanced age, died un- 

Alexander, who died in December, 1785, was succeeded 
by his second and eldest surviving son, 


Generally known as " An Sibsal Ban," or the fair-haired 
Chisholm. To make a title he epede a general service 


on 7th June, 1786, before the Sheriff of Edinburgh, as 
nearest and lawful heir male and heir of entail and 
provision of his father, which carried the personal right 
to the deed of entail of 1777, and the procurators/ of 
resignation therein contained. On these he expede a 
Crown Charter of Resignation and Tailzie under the 
Great Seal, dated the 7th of August and sealed on the 
4th of September in the same year, on which he was 
duly infeft on the 23rd of that month, the sasine being 
registered at Inverness on the 29th. 

This charter conveyed the estate of Chisholm to him- 
self, " Alexander Chisholm, now of Chisholm, Esquire, 
formerly second, now eldest son of the deceased Alex- 
ander Chisholm, late of Chisholm, and the heirs male 
of his body, whom failing, to Roderick Chisholm, formerly 
third, now second son of the said late Chisholm, and 
the heirs male of his body, whom failing, to William 
Chisholm, formerly fourth, now third son of the said late 
Chisholm, and the heirs male of his body, whom failing, 
to James Chisholm, formerly fifth, now fourth son of the 
said late Chisholm, and the heirs male of his body," whom 
failing, to any other brothers of the entailer in their order 
and the heirs male of their bodies, whom failing, to the 
heirs male of the said Chisholm of Muckerach and his 
heirs male in their order, whom failing, to the nearest law- 
ful heirs zvhatsomever of the entailer, the eldest heir female 
and the descendants of her body, excluding heirs portioners 
throughout the whole course of succession, following exactly 
his father's entail of 1777. 

Alexander, in 1776, married Elizabeth, daughter of Dr 
George Wilson, Edinburgh, with surviving issue — an only 
child, Mary, born on the 25th of March, 1780, and of 
whom and her descendants after the male heirs of entail 
are exhausted. He died on the 7th of February, 1793, 
and was buried in the chancel of the Priory of Beauly, 
where, affixed to the wall is an unpretentious white 
marble monument, placed there by his daughter, with 
the following simple inscription : — 


Sacred to the memory of Alexander Chisholm, Esq. of Chis- 
holm, who died 7th February, 1793, aged 44 years, and was here 
interred. And of Elizabeth Wilson, his relict, who died in London, 
23rd January, 1826, aged 66 years. This tablet was placed as a 
tribute of affection by their only child, Mary Chisholm, wife of 
James Gooden, Esq., Anno Domini MDCCCXXVII. 

The Chisholm had wisely made provision for his 
widow in a form which subsequently proved a great 
blessing - to a very considerable number of his brother's 
tenants in Strathglass. He left her a specified sum of 
money per annum, or alternately the rents of certain 
townships or joint farms on the estate as jointure. On 
the death of her husband in 1793, Mrs. Chisholm, on 
the advice of her daughter Mary, made choice of the 
farms, with the result that when, eight years later, in 
1801, nearly all the rest of the population of the Strath 
were evicted by her late husband's half brother, she found 
herself in a position to keep all the tenants of these farms 
in possession of their holdings, where they remained in 
comfortable circumstances until her death on the 23rd of 
January, 1826, when the whole of the estate, unfortunately 
for them, reverted to Alexander William, the twenty-fifth 
chief, who, a few years afterwards, cleared Strathglass of 
every remaining tenant of his name and clan within its 
bounds, with the exception of two. 

Of this chief James Logan, author of the Scottish Gael, 
in a manuscript note in our possession, writes : — " Of 
Alexander it must be recorded to his honour as a chief 
and a generous landlord, that he did not suffer himself to 
be infected with the mania for sheep farming, which has 
proved so lamentable a scourge to a deserving and unob- 
trusive race. He firmly resisted the importunities of his 
friends, and, unaffected by the prospect of an increased 
rental, he preferred allowing his lands to be occupied by 
his attached clansmen, whose natural father and protector 
he was, to a forcible expulsion of his faithful descendants, 
to give room for sheep and their heartless attendants. 
The southland shepherds could not tempt him with their 


golden offers. The cheerless glens, and the reproaches 
of those who had once enlivened the scene by, their rustic 
joys were not to be endured by a feeling heart, and the 
utmost reasoning of Coiremonaidh [Grant of Corriemony], 
of whom better might have well been expected, backed 
by others, failed in persuading him that the change was 
just. Time has shown whose views were most correct. 
Affluence has not always followed the introduction of 
sheep, but many who depopulated their lands to form 
sheep walks have themselves been forced to abandon a 
country which ought to have been ever their paternal 
homes. Fortune may again restore a Highland laird to 
his native hills — but his clansmen ! He may exclaim 
'Where,' and he will be answered by Mac Talla, with 
the sure and mournful response, 'Where!'" 

This patriotic feature of Alexander's character is fully set 
forth in the traditional history and native poetry of the 
district. Not only his own people, but those who lived in 
the neighbouring straths and glens ever spoke of him as 
the most considerate and, in all respects, one of the best 
proprietors in the Highlands. A Glengarry bard, speaking 
of the esteem in which he was held by his own as well 
as by other people, said : — 

'S beag ioghnadh iad bhi dileas dhuit, 
'S do chis a dhioladh durachdach, 
'S nach d' fhuair coin no ciobairean 
'N ad thir a steach dha 'n ionnsachdainn, 
Bho'n chuir thu cul ri tairgseachan 
Bho Ghalla-bhodaich nan luirichean, 
Gun d' fhag sud cliu an Albainn ort, 
'S tha farmaid aiy each duthaich riut. 

The following interesting colloquy between himself and 
his relative, Bishop John Chisholm, who died at Lismore 
in 18 14 deserves record. The Bishop first began his 
clerical career in his native district of Strathglass, and he 
was often invited to Erchless Castle. During one of these 


visits Alexander asked him — " How do you get on, Mr. 
John, with our mutual friends in the Strath?" "Well," 
replied his reverence, " I have only one complaint against 
them. I can scarcely make them believe or understand 
that it is wrong for them to cut as much of your wood 
as they require for their own use." "Oh, if that is your 
only complaint against them, Mr. John," replied The 
Chisholm, " I will undertake that, if you absolve them 
from all their other sins, I shall give them absolution 
for cutting what they require of my wood." 

On the death of the Fair Chisholm, the well-known 
Gaelic bard, Donald Chisholm, locally known as " Donih- 
null Gobha," composed an elegy to his memory, to his 
father's, and to his grandfather's, all three, of whom died 
within a comparatively short period of each other. The 
following verses refer specially to Alexander — " An Siosa- 
lach Ban : " — 

Och nan ochan 's mi fein, 
Chaidh mo chadal an eis, 
An diugh cha leir dhomh, 
Ach eiginn sgleo. 

'S trie mi 'n iomadain truagh 
Mu'n eug thug Alasdair bhuainn, 
Craobh nan abhall 
A b' uaisle meoir. 

Crann seudmhor nam buadh 
Dh'fhag fir Alba fo ghruaim 
'N uair a dh'ionndraich 
lad bhuath' thu, sheoid. 

'S iomadh fear a bha 'm breis', 

Eadar tuath agus deas, 

lad fo ghruaim, 

'S ann an cleise-bhroin. 

Cha b'e ardachadh mail 
Dh'fhag do bhancaichean Ian, 
Ach torc-sona 
Bhi ghnath ad choir. 


'S gur a fiosrach tha mi 
Gu'n robh meas ort's gach tir, 
Ann am Parlamaid Righ, 
; S aig mod. 

'Nuair a shuidheadh tu'n cuirt 
Bu leat eisdeachd 's tu b' fhiu — 
Chuireadh d'fhocal 
Gach cuis air seol. 

Bha gach fasan a b' fhearr 
Ann am pearsa mo ghraidh, 
Ach co mhealas, 
An drasd a chot' ? 

Bu leat faghaid nan gleann, 
'S fuaim nan gaothar na 'n deann, 
Fhir a leagadh 
Na maing le sgorr. 

Leat a chinneadh an t-sealg, 
Ann am frith nan damh dearg, 
Eadar Finne-ghleann, 
Is Cioch an fheoir. 

Eadar Comunn-nan-allt, 
Agus garbh-shlios nam beann, 
Eadar Fairthir 
'S an Caorunn gorm. 

Allan Macdougall, better known among- his own country- 
men as "Ailean Dall," Glengarry's family bard, and a 
contemporary of " The Fair Chisholm," commends his 
refusal of the tempting offers made to him to evict the 
native tenantry to make room for the Southern sheep 
farmers in a Gaelic poem of eleven stanzas, from which 
we quote the following four : — 

Gu seasach, duineil, faoilteachail, 

Mu d' dhaoine tha thu curamach ; 
Air gheard mu 'n eirich baoghal dhoibh, 

'S cha leig thu aomadh cuil orra ; 
'S gur mairg a nochdadh aobhar dhuit, 

Nuair dh' eireadh laoich do dhucha leat 
Chum seasamh ri uchd caonnaige, 

Le 'n claidheannaibh cha diultadh iad. 



Nuair thogteadh piob a's bratach leat 

A mach bho chaisteal Eirchealais, 
Bu lionmhor oigeir spalpara, 

Fo ordugh grad chum seirbheis dhuit : 
Gu dagach, gunnach, acfhuinneach, 

Gu ruinn-gheur, sgaiteach, eirbheartach, 
Ag gearradh smuais a's aisinnean, 

La cruas nan ealt' gun mheirg orra. 

Le 'n ceannard uasal Siosalach, 

Gu suairce, measail, giulanta, 
Cha mheall an t-6r le sitheadh thu, 

Gu bristeadh air do chumhnantan ; 
Cha'n fhaillinnich do ghealluinnean, 

De t'fhearann thug thu cunnradh dhoibh 
Air laraichean a' seanairean. 

A's ceangal ac' air uine dheth. 

Cha 'n ioghnadh iad bhi dileas dhuit 

'S do chis a dhioladh durachdach ; 
Cha 'n f haicear coin no ciobairean 

A steach 'na d' thir 'g an iunnsachadh ; 
'S bho 'n chuir thu cul ri tairgseachan 

Bho Ghall-bhodaich nan luirichean, 
Gu 'n d' fhag sid cliu an Albainn ort 

'S tha farmad aig gach duthaich riut. 

Alexander died on the 7th of February, 1793, without 
male issue, and was succeeded, in terms of the entail 
of 1777, and his own charter of resignation dated 7th 
of August, 1786, by his eldest surviving brother, 


Who has a retour of special service, as nearest and lawful 
heir male of tailzie and provision of Alexander Chisholm 
his brother, of the lands of Breackachy and others, dated 
the 8th of August, 1793, on which infeftment follows on 
the 30th of August, with a sasine on the 25th of Sep- 
tember, registered at Inverness on the 26th of October 
in the same year. He has a charter of resignation in 
his favour of the lands of Wester Comar, called " Comar 
Cruaidh," Easter and Wester Erchless, Comar Kirkton, 


Buntait, and Mauld, by the trustees of the deceased 
Lieutenant-General Simon Fraser of Lovat, the superior 
of these lands, dated the 24th of October, 1797, with an 
instrument of sasine thereon, on the 12th of April, 1798, 
registered in the Particular Register of Sasines on the 
16th of the same month. He has another charter of 
resignation from the same trustees, dated the 26th and 
27th of May, 1800, with sasine thereon on the 1st of 
August and registered at Inverness on the 5th of the 
same month. 

He married, on the 12th of March, 1795, Elizabeth, 
eldest daughter of Duncan Macdonell, XIV. of Glen- 
garry (who, as her second husband, married Sir Thomas 
Ramsay, Baronet of Balmain, an officer in the H.E.I.C.S. 
in the Presidency of Bengal), with issue — 

1. Alexander William, his heir and successor. 

2. Duncan Macdonell, who on the death of his brother 
Alexander, unmarried, succeeded to the chiefship and 

3. Jemima, who, on the 1st of August, 1843, married 
Edmund Chisholm Batten, M.A., F.R.S.E., of Thorn- 
falcon, county of Somerset, author of a volume entitled 
The Charters of the Priory of Beauty, published by 
the Grampian Club in 1877. On the death of her 
brother, Duncan Macdonell Chisholm, in 1858, she and 
her husband acquired by purchase his unentailed lands 
of Aigais. They at the same time assumed the surname 
Chisholm before that of Batten by Royal license. She 
died in August, 1883, leaving issue — two sons and four 
daughters, (1) James Forbes Chisholm Batten, B.A. 
Oxon., Major A.P.D., late Captain 34th Foot He was 
born on the 13th January, 1847, and educated at West- 
minster, and at Exeter College, Oxford. He married on 
the 9th of August, 1883, Anne Douglas (widow of Cap- 
tain William Bothwell Potter), eldest daughter of John 
de Havilland Uttermarck, Attorney-General of Guernsey, 
by his wife Helen Douglas, youngest daughter of John 
Guthrie of Guthrie, Forfarshire, and his wife, Helen, 


daughter of William Douglas of Brigton, with issue — (a) 
James Uttermarck, born on the 29th of May, 1884; 
(b) Harry Copeland, born on the 25th of October, 1885, 
and died in 1886 ; (c) Edmund Rodolphe, born on the 
10th of May, 1887; and (d) John de Havilland, born 
on the 14th of October, 1889. (2) Alexander William, 
Commander, Royal Navy. He was born in September, 
185 1, and is slill unmarried ; (3) Jemima Emily, who died 
in 1882, unmarried; (4) Edith Ursula; (5) Sarah Annette 
Eliza; (6) Amye Fanny; and (7) Rose Jane. Lady 
Ramsay died at Thornfalcon, Somersetshire, the residence 
of her daughter, at the advanced age of eighty-two years, 
on the 17th of October, 1859. 

William died at Cullumpton, Devonshire, on the 22nd of 
March, 18 17. His body was removed by sea to Inverness, 
and thence to the family burying place, "with all the pomp 
and circumstance which marked the last scene in a chief's 
earthly sojourn." A letter from the famous Colonel, after- 
wards Lieutenant-General James Macdonell, K.C.B., the 
hero of Hougomont, to Major Thomas Fraser of Newton, 
intimating the death of The Chisholm, and giving direc- 
tions regarding the funeral of that chief in a manner 
worthy of his position, will be found interesting. It is 
as follows : — 

Bristol, March 29th, 18 17. 
Dear Sir, — I was at Clifton on the 24th inst. preparing to receive 
my sister and her family, when I was called to Collumpton by the 
melancholy tidings of the Chisholm's death. I joined my sister 
during the night of that day, fearing the injury her health might 
sustain from continuing a witness to the sad scene, particularly as 
she is in the family way. I prevailed on her to continue her 
journey to this place on the morning of the 26th, taking upon 
myself to do all that could be done in this country for our 
deceased relation and friend. The body is enclosed first in a 
lead coffin, and then in one of wood, with a temporary covering 
of black cloth ; of course on the remains reaching Inverness it will 
be proper and necessary to replace that covering with new cloth, 
and the coffin properly finished with brass nails, plate, etc. Upon 
the leaden coffin there is the following inscription — "William Chis- 
holm, Esq. of Chisholm, died at Collumpton, County of Devon, 


March 22nd, 181 7." A similar inscription, without any addition or 
alteration whatever, my sister wishes to be put on the brass plate 
on the outer coffin. On my sister's departure from Collumpton, I 
proceeded to Exeter and the sea port of that city, Topsham. At 
the latter place I succeeded in hiring a vessel to convey the 
remains to Inverness. On the 27th I saw the body removed from 
Collumpton, and put on board the ship " Liberty," at Topsham ; 
on the 28th she proceeded on her voyage. The coffin has been 
put into a large case for its greater security, and consigned to Mr 
Alexander Anderson, banker, Inverness, to whom, on the 27th, I 
enclosed one of the bills of lading, which mentions that the case 
contains a coffin. I had the body removed from Collumpton in a 
hearse and four, and followed it myself in a carriage to the quay, 
when it was embarked. Nothing should have prevented me accom- 
panying the remains of my deceased brother-in-law to the burial 
ground of his ancestors but the absolute necessity I find myself 
under of returning to France so soon as I have in some degree 
seen my sister and her boys settled. As an arrangement had 
been made some time ago for the reception of the boys into the 
family of a highly respectable clergyman in this neighbourhood, 
my sister has determined on taking up her residence at Bristol, 
at least till after her confinement. As the nearest male relation 
of the family of Chisholm, from the warm interest you have ever 
taken in all that concerns it, as well as the particular regard she 
has always felt for you, Mrs Chisholm delegates to you the melan- 
choly and sacred duty of seeing the remains of her late husband 
and your uncle consigned to the tomb of his forefathers, with all 
the respect which she feels for his memory, and which is due to 
the head of a family so ancient and respectable. On the arrival 
of the remains at Inverness, which will be intimated to you by Mr 
Anderson, it will be necessary that you give directions that they 
shall be properly lodged till you have issued the funeral letters 
and fixed the day of interment. When the obsequies are over, 
my sister requests to hear from you, addressed to her at the 
Post-Office, Bristol. I beg you will believe me, my dear sir, with 
sincere regard, your obedient servant, 

(Signed) Jas. Macdonell. 
Major Fraser of Newton, etc., etc. 

It may be interesting to remark that the postage of 
this letter, as marked on the cover, cost 2s. 8d. 

The following account of William's funeral is taken 
from Anderson's Essay — " His corpse was taken to Inver- 
ness by sea, and lay in state there for several days in 


one of the inns ; where wines and refreshments were 
laid out for all visitors ; after which it was removed to 
the family burial place in Beauly priory, attended by 
almost the entire population of the town. The tenants 
of the deceased met the funeral procession at Beauly 
Bridge, resolved on removing their chief from the hearse 
and carrying him on their shoulders ; but the coffin being 
a leaden one, they were glad to desist from their pur- 
pose. A granary adjacent to the priory was the scene 
of the banquet after the interment. The company were 
so numerous that it was apprehended the floor would 
have given way. Those of the 'gentle kindred' occupied 
the upper room, whilst the commons caroused in the 
lower storey. To use a rude but familiar phrase — the 
claret ran like ditch water — and the old women of the 
village brought pails to carry off the superfluous whisky, 
when those for whom it was intended could drink no 
more ; nay, further, the voice of scandal has hinted that 
everyone of them kept public houses for six months 
afterwards, from the relics of the feast. When the fiery 
beverage had inflamed their blood, the tenants, at being 
debarred from tasting the claret, made an irruption into 
the quarters of the more favoured class, but were easily 
repulsed. Night closed on the revellers ; several of 
whom (if my information be correct) were to wake no 
more, for a sharp fall of snow overpowered individuals of 
the senseless and straggling people."* 

Although the body left Devonshire on the 28th of 
March it did not arrive in Inverness until the 10th 
of May. The expenses of the funeral, including £60 for 
the conveyance of the body by sea from Topsham, near 
Exeter, to Inverness, amounted to £747 7s. id. This 
sum the tutors of the heir at first refused to pay, and 
they took the opinion of counsel, who, in giving his 
decision, was to keep in view "that as the executry 
may be thrown into the hands of the creditors this claim 

* Essay on the State of Society and Knowledge in the Highlands, by 
John Anderson, 1827. pp. 143-144. 


would undoubtedly be objected to by them," and counsel 
was to say " whether the tutors of the heir would be 
justified in paying any part of a sum where the waste 
had been so improvident." The opinion of counsel was 
not encouraging. The widow, Mrs. Chisholm, never saw 
the memorial, and from a letter written by Robert Scott, 
her factor, dated the 22nd of June, 18 18, it appears that 
she did not at all approve of what had been clone by 
some of her son's tutors without consulting her, though 
she was herself one of them. The account was ultimately 
paid by the tutors. 

On his death, in 18 1 7, William was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 


Born at Castlehill, Inverness, on the 15th of February, 
1 8 10, and consequently a minor only seven years old 
when he succeeded to the chiefship and family estates. 
He is specially served as nearest lawful heir-male of 
tailzie and provision of his father to all the Chisholm 
lands held of the Crown, on the 28th of July, 18 17, and 
duly retoured to Chancery ; and there is a precept for 
his infeftment, dated the 27th of August, with an instru- 
ment of sasine following thereon on the 15th of September, 
and registered at Edinburgh on the 1 6th of October in the 
same year. On the 24th of May, 18 18, he has a precept 
of Clare Constat in his favour by Duncan Fraser of Fin- 
gask, the superior of the lands of Wester Comar, Wester 
and Easter Erchless, and Comar Kirkton, with an instru- 
ment of sasine thereon dated the 22nd of June and 
registered in the Particular Register of Sasines, at Edin- 
burgh, on the 24th of the same month. He has a similar 
precept in his favour of the lands of Buntait and Mauld 
by James Fraser of Belladrum, the superior, dated the 
2nd of June, 1818, followed by an instrument of sasine, 
dated the 22nd, and registered in the Particular Register 
of Sasines, on the 24th of the same month. 


His guardians, as also of his brother and sister, were 
his mother; Charles Grant, afterwards Lord Glenelg; 
John Peter Grant of Rothiemurchus, subsequently one of 
the judges of the Supreme Court at Calcutta ; Sir Hugh 
Innes of Lochalsh, baronet ; and William Mackenzie of 
Muirton, W.S., Edinburgh. The charge of seeing after 
the children's education was however mainly left to Mrs. 
Chisholm, who, soon after the death of their father, sent 
the two boys to a school under the care of the Rev. 
William Reid at Midsummer Norton, Somerset. In con- 
sequence of the weak state of Alexander's health, brought 
on by a severe attack of rheumatic fever, he was removed 
successively to Clifton, Weymouth, Malvern, and Bath. 
When his health improved, he and his brother were en- 
trusted to the charge of the Rev. Mr. Fendall, Nazing, 
Essex, with whom they remained until the autumn of 
1822, when, on the advice of Charles Grant, they were 
both sent to Eton. Mr. Ollivant, Fellow of Trinity Col- 
lege, Cambridge, and subsequently Bishop of Llandaff, 
accompanied them as private tutor. In the end of 1825 
Mr. Ollivant resigned his charge, and on their return to 
Eton the following year the two boys were placed under 
the tuition of the Rev. Edward Coleridge. They left 
Eton in 1828, and were placed under the charge of the 
Rev. James S. M. Anderson, Chaplain in Ordinary to the 
Queen, until, in the following October, Alexander went 
to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he entered under 
the tuition of the Rev. George Peacock, afterwards Dean 
of Ely. He remained there for three years. 

In 1824, at the age of fourteen, he authorised his 
guardians to pay all his father's debts, with interest at 
5 per cent., and to remit all arrears to certain petitioning 
tenants. In a letter written to his mother, dated Eton, 
1 2th October, 1824, he says in reference to this matter, 
" I should think that it would be the best way to grant 
the petitioners a remission of all the arrears of their rent, 
and to assist them, if possible, to resume the tenancy of 
Kerrow and Clachan." 


In 1825 the brothers paid a visit to Strathglass, on 
which occasion they received a warm Highland welcome 
from the tenantry on the estate. In 1829 Alexander 
entered Trinity College, Cambridge. On his coming of age 
two years later, in 183 1, he took possession of the family 
inheritance, and is said to have taken "an active part in 
plans for ameliorating " the condition of the people on 
the property, which amelioration took the form of evict- 
ing a large number of the ancient tenantry of his forbears 
in accordance with the mistaken views which, then so 
extensively prevailed of improving the condition of the 
Highland people by clearing them out of their native 
glens to make room for sheep and deer. Alexander's 
mode of " improvement " we shall describe in the words 
of an eye-witness. For a few years after the death of 
the Dowager Mrs. Chisholm, in 1826, whose power over a 
portion of the estate will more fully appear later on, the 
people were allowed to remain in their holdings. This, 
however, our authority adds, "was in order to adjust 
matters for future and more sweeping arrangements, as 
all the leases in Strathglass were about to expire. To the 
best of my recollection it was in the year 1831 that all 
the men in Strathglass were requested to meet the young 
Chisholm on a certain day at the Inn of Cannich. The 
call was readily complied with, the men were all there in 
good time, but The Chisholm was not. After some 
hours of anxious waiting, sundry surmisings, and well- 
founded misgivings, a gig was seen at a distance driving 
towards the assembled tenants. This was the signal for 
a momentary ray of hope. But on the arrival of the 
vehicle it was discovered that it contained only the 'sense 
carrier ' of the proprietor, viz., the factor, who told the 
men that The Chisholm was not coming to the meeting, 
and that, as factor, he had no instructions to enter into 
any arrangements with them. I was present," says 
Colin Chisholm, who is still hale and hearty as we write, 
"and heard the curt message delivered, and I leave the 
reader to imagine the bitter grief and disappointment of 


men who attended that meeting with glowing hopes in 
the morning, but had to tell their families and dependents 
in the evening that there was no alternative before them 
but the emigrant ship, and to choose between the scorch- 
ing prairies of Australia and the icy regions of North 
America. In a short time after this meeting, it transpired 
that the best farms and best grazing lands in Strathglass 
were let quite silently, without the knowledge of the men 
in possession, to shepherds from other countries, leaving 
half the number of the native population without house 
or home."* 

When Thomas Lord Lovat heard of the cruel treat- 
ment dealt out to this fine body of Highlanders, he took 
pity upon them and entered upon negotiations with Mr 
George Grieve, then occupant of the sheep farm of Glen- 
strathfarrar, with the view of placing upon it the evicted 
Chisholm tenants. His lordship agreed to take over the 
whole stock at valuation, and offered farm and stock to 
the evicted tenantry from Strathglass. And the best proof 
that can be given of their ability to hold their own and 
pay their rents where they were, is that they were not a 
penny in arrears, and that, at the following Martinmas, 
they were able to pay Mr. Grieve in cash for the whole 
stock on the farm of Glenstrathfarrar. 

But the unfortunate people were, like many others in 
the Highlands, soon after doomed to another clearance. 
"Some fourteen years afterwards," continues Colin Chis- 
holm, " when the rage for deer forests began to assert its 
unhallowed territorial demands," Lord Lovat informed the 
evicted men of Strathglass that he required their new 
holdings for the purpose of enlarging his deer forest in 
the neighbourhood, and they were again removed to hold- 
ings provided for them by his lordship on other portions 
of his estate. "In short," says the writer, "the manage- 
ment of the Chisholm's estate left only two of the native 
farmers in Strathglass, the only surviving man of whom 

* The Clearance of the Glens, by Colin Chisholm, in the Celtic Magazine 
for 1878, Vol. III., pp. 378-388. 


[1878] is Alexander Chisholm, Raonbhraid. He is pay- 
ing rent as a middle-class farmer to the present Chisholm 
for nearly twenty years, and paid rent in the same farm 
to the preceding two Chisholms from the time they got 
possession until they died. He was also farmer in 
a townland or joint -farm in Balnahaun, on the ' Fair 
Lady's ' portion of Strathglass. This far, he has satisfied 
the demands of four proprietors and seven successive 
factors on the same estate. And, like myself, he is 
obeying the spiritual decrees of the fifth Pope, protected 
by the humane laws of the fourth Sovereign, and living 
under the well-meaning but absent fourth chief." All the 
other Strathglass tenants found a home on the Lovat 
estates, where their sons and grandsons are still among 
the most respectable middle-class farmers in Inverness- 
shire. Mr Chisholm continues — " There were only two 
native farmers left in Strathglass. The only one who 
left his native country of his own accord at that time 
was my own father. So that, when the present Chis- 
holm came home from Canada to take possession of 
the estate about nineteen years ago, there were only two 
of his name and kindred in possession of an inch of 
land in the whole of Strathglass. At the first opening 
he doubled the number by restoring two more from the 
Lovat estate. But I am sorry to say that restoration is 
a plant of slow growth. It is, however, only right to 
state that the Chisholm generously re-established and 
liberally supported one of the tenants in the farm from 
which he was evicted nineteen years before. This man's 
father and grandfather lived and died as tenants on the 
same farm, and his great-grandfather, Domhnull Mac- 
Uilleam, was killed on Drumossie-moor. This faithful 
clansman was shot when carrying his mortally-wounded 
commander, The Chisholm's youngest son, in his arms 
from the field. In Glencannich, even within my own 
recollection, there were a number of people comfortably 
located. Of the descendants of Glencannich men there 
lived in my own time, one Bishop and fifteen Priests ; 


three Colonels, one Major, three Captains, three Lieu- 
tenants, and seven Ensigns. Such was the class of men 
reared and who had their early education either in this 
glen or in Strathglass. And now there are eight 
shepherds, seven gamekeepers, and one farmer in Glen- 
cannich ! " Mr Chisholm adds that, when he wrote, in 
1878, there was not one of the men in Strathglass or 
any of the descendants of the men who were instru- 
mental in driving the native farmers out of it. 

In 1832, a number of Chisholms who had settled in 
Canada, many of them in high and responsible positions, 
transmitted an address to their chief through Dr. Stewart 
Chisholm of the Royal Artillery, who had for many 
years resided and rendered distinguished service in the 
Dominion. This address was presented by Dr. Chisholm 
to Alexander, on behalf of his Canadian countrymen, 
at the St. James Hotel, Jermyn Street, London, in 
presence of his mother and several members of the clan. 
There is nothing in the document itself which would 
justify its reproduction here, but the names attached to 
it, many of them historical, and the positions occupied 
even then by so many of the clan Chisholm in Canada, 
make the completed document, with the signatures as we 
now have it, particularly interesting. The version which 
we give is from a lithographed copy, apparently pub- 
lished in or soon after 1845. This difference of dates 
between the address itself and the published copy, by 
the carelessness of those who prepared it for the press, 
introduces a good deal of confusion. Some of the facts 
and incidents recorded regarding the signatories are com- 
puted from the date of the address, while others, it is 
quite apparent, are calculated from the date upon which 
it was lithographed, thirteen years later. Thus, it is now 
impossible to say whether some of the gentlemen whose 
names are adhibited to the address occupied the positions 
ascribed to them in 1832 or in 1845, or whether the 
number of years given as elapsed since they or their 
predecessors emigrated are to be reckoned from the first 


or last mentioned year. The document, with the names 
attached, is as follows : — 

Glengarry, Upper Canada, 
September, 1832. 

Dear Chief, — It is with great pleasure that we embrace the 
present opportunity of transmitting to you through our respected 
clansman, Dr Stewart Chisholm of the Royal Artillery, who is now 
on his route to Scotland, our warmest expressions of regard and 
attachment to you, Chief of our clan. 

It is true that a wide sea rolls between us, our native glens and 
heathclad hills, the land of our forefathers, but divided as we are 
we have still hearts to appreciate the value of the institutions of 
our country. 

At a time like the present, when Britain seems to be insulted by 
a Democracy that would destroy all order, and when her ancient 
and perhaps noblest enemy * has made order a song, we, clans- 
men of yours inhabiting the wilds of Upper Canada, declare that 
whatever the rest of governors or governed may do, we at least 
shall still be proud to act upon the old principle. It may not be 
irrelevant perhaps to say that, while all other institutions are on 
the wane, our patriarchal ones remain firm. 

The king can mak' a belted knight, 
A marquis, duke an' a' that, 
A Highland chief's aboon his might, 
Gude faith he mauna fa' that. 

The Highland chief of a thousand years is still the father of his 
family, and we are proud to acknowledge him. Dear chief, that 
you may long live to enjoy health and prosperity is the ardent and 
sincere wish of your clansmen. 


George Chisholm.. of Burlington Bay, head of Lake Ontario, now in 
his eighty-seventh year. Sixty years ago he emigrated from Springton 
on the Leys, near Inverness, N. B. [He died in the year 1843, aged 98.] 
John Chisholm, of East Flamboro, Gore District, J. P., Colonel Com- 
manding 4th Regiment of Gore Militia, and Collector of Customs and 

William Chisholm, of Oakville, Member of Parliament for the county 
of Halton, Colonel Commanding 2nd Regiment Gore Militia. 

George Chisholm, Lieutenant-Colonel 2nd Regiment Gore Militia. The 
three above are sons to Mr George Chisholm of Burlington Bay. 

* In allusion to the abolition of the hereditary peerage in France. 


A. M. Chisholm, W. D. Chisholm, John B. Chisholm, James B. 
Chisholm, sons of the above Colonel John Chisholm. 

George R. Chisholm. 

John A. Chisholm, Robert K. Chisholm, William Mackenzie Chisholm, 
sons of the above William Chisholm, Esq. of Oakville, M.P. 

Alexander M. Chisholm. 

Duncan Chisholm, George B. Chisholm, William K. Chisholm, sons 
of the above Lieutenant-Colonel G. Chisholm. 

George Chisholm of Queenstown Heights, Niagara. 

Angus Allan Chisholm, Archibald Charles Chisholm, James Halking 
Chisholm, sons to the late Mr. Alexander Chisholm, who emigrated 47 
years ago from Middle Knockfin, Strathglass. 

Charles x^lexander Chisholm, James Allan Chisholm, sons to the above 
Mr. Angus Chisholm. 

Alexander Chisholm, Lieutenant-Colonel 1st Regiment Hastings Militia, 
emigrated 47 years ago from Middle Knockfin, Strathglass, named after 
the chief Alexander, grandfather to the present chief. 

Colin Chisholm, James Chisholm, John Chisholm, Stephen Gilbert 
Chisholm, Allan Taylor Chisholm, William Fraser Chisholm, sons to the 
above Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Chisholm. 

Archibald Chisholm, Captain 1st Regiment Hastings Militia, brother 
to the above Alexander, and emigrated at the same time. 

John Chisholm, William Henry Chisholm, Murcheson Chisholm, sons 
to the above Colin Chisholm. 

Donald Chisholm, frcm Achlian in Glenmoriston, and emigrated from 
thence about ten years ago. He is grandson to that celebrated and noble- 
minded Highlander, Hugh (Macphail) Chisholm, who spurned at the 
reward of ^30,000 offered for betraying Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 
and who never gave his right hand to a man after having bid farewell to 
his Royal Master. Mr. Donald Chisholm is the son of Alexander, eldest 
son to the hero of Corrigho, and now lives near Lochiel, County of Glen- 
garry, Upper Canada. The sword of his grandfather is in the possession of 
Dr. Stewart Chisholm, Royal Artillery, with affidavits attached to it from 
Isabella, his daughter and others. [The following foot-note is added — 
" London, 21st March, 1845. The above sword was this day placed in 
possession of The Chisholm, where it ought to be. Signed, Stewart Chis- 
holm, Senior Surgeon, Royal Artillery." On the death of The Chisholm 
the sword was returned by his housekeeper to Dr. Chisholm. When Dr. 
Chisholm died, on 30th September, 1862, the sword came into the posses- 
sion of his son, Captain Archibald Macra Chisholm (late of the Black Watch, 
Royal Highlanders), Hartfield House, Applecross, now (1S90) residing at 
Glassburn, Strathglass.] 

John Chisholm ; Alexander Chisholm ; Peter Chisholm, sons to the 
above Mr. Donald Chisholm. 

William Chisholm, son of John Chisholm, from Strathglass, now in 
Lochiel, Glengarry, Upper Canada. 

Valentine Chisholm, from Strathglass, now in Lochiel, Glengarry, Upper 


John Chisholm, from Strathglass, now living at Roxburough, Eastern 
Division, Upper Canada. 

John Chisholm ; Alexander Chisholm, sons of the above Mr. John 

Donald Chisholm ; Charles Chisholm, grandsons to the celebrated Hugh 
Chisholm, by his daughter Katherine, and sons to John Chisholm from 
Strathglass, now in Glengarry, Upper Canada. 

Duncan Chisholm, son of Donald (Macphail) Chisholm, brother to the 
hero of Corrigho, emigrated from Blairie, Glenmoriston, in the year 1769. 

Hugh Chisholm ; Donald Chisholm ; Alexander Chisholm ; William 
Chisholm, sons to the above Mr. Donald Chisholm, residing near Bishop 
Macdonell's, in Glengarry. 

Archibald Chisholm, son of Hugh, son to said Donald (Macphail) Chis- 

Alexander Chisholm, son to the above Archibald Chisholm, both living 
on the Black River, Glengarry. 

Lewis Chisholm, Captain 1st Regiment Glengarry Militia, son to the 
above Donald (Macphail) Chisholm, residing on the Black River, Glen- 
garry ; emigrated with his father and brother from Blairie, Glenmoriston, 
in 1769. 

Alexander Chisholm ; Donald Chisholm ; John Chisholm, sons of the 
above Captain Lewis Chisholm. 

William Chisholm, son of John Chisholm, and grandson to Alexander, 
brother to the hero of Corrigho, living in Glenmore, Glengarry ; emigrated 
years ago from Glenmoriston. 

John Chisholm ; Alexander Chisholm ; Donald Chisholm, Peter Chis- 
holm ; Duncan Chisholm ; William Chisholm ; sons to the above William 

John Chisholm from Strathglass, emigrated previous to the American 
Revolutionary War, and was the first settler on the Indian Reserve, north 
branch of the Black River, Glengarry. 

David Chisholm, eldest son of the above John, being the first European 
christened in that part of the country. 

John Chisholm ; Hugh Chisholm ; Donald Chisholm ; Ronald Chisholm ; 
Alexander Chisholm ; James Chisholm ; Roderick Chisholm ; sons to the 
above John Chisholm, who emigrated from Strathglass previous to the 
Revolutionary War. 

Alexander Chisholm ; John Chisholm ; Duncan Chisholm ; sons to 
the above Mr. David Chisholm (the first christened). 

William Chisholm, son of John Chisholm, and grandson to the above 
John Chisholm from Strathglass. 

Archibald Chisholm ; John Chisholm ; two sons of Donald Chisholm, 
and grandsons to J. Chisholm, from Strathglass. 

Kenneth Chisholm, from Strathglass years ago. 

John Chisholm, St. Andrews, Knoydart, near Glengarry, Upper Canada. 

Colin Chisholm, brother of the above. 

Alexander Chisholm, emigrated with the Honourable and Right Rev. 
Bishop Macdonell from Strathglass, gardener to the Bishop at his palace, 
St. Raphaels. 


Archibald Chisholm, emigrated from Craskie, Glenmoriston, in 1830. 

Archibald Chisholm, from Strathglass in 1828, residing near Bishop 
Macdonell's, Glengarry, Upper Canada, brother to Dr. A. B. Chisholm, 
Portland Place, London. 

Duncan Chisholm, from Invercannich in 1828. 

Alexander Chisholm, student of Divinity, son to Colin Chisholm, Strath- 
glass, carrier. 

James Sutherland Chisholm, son to Roderick Chisholm (who died at 
Montreal during the cholera of 1832), and nephew to Captain Donald 
Chisholm, H. P., Royal Highlanders. He is heir of entail to the Chis- 
holm estates, failing issue to the present chief, Duncan Macdonell 
Chisholm, Captain and Adjutant of the Coldstream Guards. His sister 
Jemima Chisholm, was married at Kingston, Upper Canada, on the 8th 
January, 1840, to Mr Milner, a Government contractor. 

Alexander Chisholm, J. P., late a Lieutenant of the Royal African 
Corps, emigrated from Kerrow in 181 7. He is now Member of Parlia- 
ment for Glengarry, and Colonel-Commandant of the 2nd Battalion 
Glengarry Militia. 

Duncan Chisholm, father to the above, emigrated in 1822 ; resides on 
his farm, which he has called Achagiad. 

Duncan Chisholm, Colin Chisholm, Roderick Chisholm, Theodore Chis- 
holm, sons to the above Achagiad, all living in his neighbourhood. 

Christopher Chisholm, brother to Roderick and Duncan Chisholm, of 
Middle Crochel, lives on south side of Lake St. Frances, at a place 
called Kintail ; has twelve sons. 

Alexander, who was always in delicate health, is said 
to have been a young man of more than average ability. 
In 1835 he was returned to Parliament, in the Conserva- 
tive interest, for the county of Inverness, after a keen 
contest with James Murray Grant of Glenmoriston, by a 
majority of twenty-eight. At the general election of 1837, 
caused by the death of King William IV., and the acces- 
sion of Queen Victoria, Alexander again came forward as 
a candidate for the county. He on this occasion was 
opposed by Sir Charles Grant, whom he succeeded in 
defeating by a majority of fifty-four. His Parliamentary 
duties, however, proved too much for his delicate con- 
stitution, and finding himself obliged to be often absent 
from the House on account of the state of his health, 
he, in the following spring, determined to resign his seat, 
and this resolution he intimated to his supporters in an 
address dated, London, May the 18th, 1838. He almost 
immediately proceeded to the North, where he proposed 


the Master of Grant as his Parliamentary successor — a 
proposal which was given effect to without opposition.* 
He remained at Erchless during the remainder of the 
season, but on the 1st of August he had occasion to go 
to Inverness on business, where he was seized, in the 
Caledonian Hotel, with the sudden illness which shortly 
afterwards terminated his life. He died there unmarried 
on Saturday, the 8th of September, 1838, at the early 
age of 28 years. From a post-mortem examination it 
was found that he died of aneurism of the aorta. 

His funeral and character are set forth in glowing 
terms by a contemporary. The oldest inhabitant of the 
district does not, his eulogist says, remember any funeral 
in the North which excited an interest so intense. At 
ten o'clock in the forenoon an immense assemblage, com- 
prising individuals of opposite sides in political sentiment 
met to show their respect for the memory of the de- 
parted chief. The procession moved slowly from the 
Caledonian Hotel, and proceeded by the old bridge and 
along the western bank of the river Ness towards the 
road leading to Erchless, the equipages and vehicles of 
every description extending to more than a mile in 
length. A great many joined on the way, and few of 
those who had conveyances returned until they saw the 
grave closed over the remains of the young chief amid 
his own mountains. The magistrates of Inverness walked 
in deep mourning before the hearse, attended by the 
town's officers. Glengarry, his cousin, followed the body 
as chief mourner ; the sheriffs of the northern counties 
came next, after whom followed a numerous body of the 
gentry and clergy of the Highlands, and of the town's 
people of every rank. Every eminence from which a 
view of the procession could be obtained was crowded 

* On the preceding page, which was printed off before the error was dis- 
covered, it is stated, ninth line from bottom, that Alexander Chisholm was 
opposed in his second contest for the Parliamentary representation of Inver- 
ness-shire by Sir Charles Grant. This should have been his unsuccessful 
opponent of the previous contest in 1835, James Murray Grant of Glen- 


with spectators, and both banks of the river were lined 
with an orderly and sympathetic throng", as the mortal 
remains of the young- chief were borne away from the 
place where his early death had excited the liveliest 
feelings of regret and sorrow. As the cavalcade passed 
along the road to Erchless, the country people crowded 
to the wayside to express their sympathy. A body of 
the Strathglass tenantry, as well as of the rural popula- 
tion in the neighbourhood, joined the procession some 
time before it arrived at Erchless Castle, which it reached 
at four o'clock in the afternoon. When the hearse entered 
the policies, the coffin was taken out and slowly borne on 
the shoulders of his clansmen and tenants to a wooded 
hill in the immediate vicinity, where the body was in- 
terred after the burial service of the Church of England 
had been read by the Rev. Mr. Fyvie, of Inverness. A 
broad pathway wound round the hill. The body was 
deposited in the centre of a level area on the summit 
surrounded by ancient trees, the loveliest spot in that 
picturesque vicinity. The personal appearance of The 
Chisholm was very prepossessing ; his manners engaging. 
" In speaking or writing his style was chaste, elegant, 
and copious ; his eloquence was peculiarly graceful ; and 
his stores of literature and erudition were extensive and 
varied, though his natural unobtrusiveness prevented him 
from giving so many public specimens of his talents as 
others of much inferior acquirements had done." After 
stating that his principles were those of the Revolution 
of 1688, his eulogist proceeds — " Religion was not used 
by him as a convenient tool for accomplishing secular 
purposes, but formed the sacred principles to which all 
his political sentiments were uniformly subjected. To 
the religious establishments of both Kingdoms he was 
firmly attached, while anxious to see them disencum- 
bered of every real abuse. He had studied the Confession 
and Laws of the Church of Scotland, and signified his 
readiness to become one of its office-bearers. Had his 
valuable life been prolonged he would soon have taken 


his place in its General Assembly as an elder, an office 
which he was well qualified to fill, from his independent 
bearing - , and uniformly consistent character. He bore a 
near resemblance to our ancient Scottish barons, whose 
talents and zeal defended, while their lives adorned, and 
their prayers formed a mighty munition to the often per- 
secuted Church of their beloved Scotland. The religion 
of Chisholm was deep and fervent, and such as produced 
the greatest strictness of domestic, social, and personal 
deportment. To the last moment of his life he cherished 
a profound feeling of his own unworthiness, a confident 
reliance on the power and grace of his Divine Redeemer, 
and an ardent devotedness to His service by whose death 
he lived, and in whose arms he closed his eyes on this 
evanescent scene. In Erchless Castle he assembled his 
numerous family circle every morning and evening for 
the social worship of God, and his youthful countenance 
on those occasions contrasted strikingly with the fervent 
and ripened aspect of his devotional feeling. In prayer 
his language was strikingly beautiful and expressive, and 
still flowed forth as the natural aspirations of his own 
mind. The stated intercourse which he kept up with 
God and his Word in the retirement of his own chamber 
gave him at once a readiness of expression and a rich- 
ness of devotional feeling when he led the worship of 
his family. And even amidst the bustle and agitating 
discussions of the House of Commons, he formed one 
of a group of its members who statedly met during the 
session for social worship. When his grave was prepared 
in the sequestered and beautiful spot where his body now 
reposes, one who marked his habits said, ' that was the 
place to which, I believe, he often retired for the pur- 
pose of secret meditation and prayer.' Sweet is the 
remembrance of such a man, and long will his name be 
mentioned with reverence by the inhabitants of his own 
mountain land, where his religious, and patriotic, and 
benevolent demeanour will long surround his name with 
a brighter halo than the antiquity of his house, or the 


proudest emblazonment of earthly heraldry, which often 
only adds a deeper melancholy to the coldness of the 

Alexander William Chisholm died unmarried, and was 
succeeded in the chiefship and estates by his brother, 


Who was born on the 5th of August, 181 1, and had there- 
fore at the date of his accession entered on his twenty- 
eighth year. When his brother died he was serving as 
Adjutant with his regiment, the Coldstream Guards, in 
Canada, whither he sailed from Portsmouth on the 18th 
of April previously. We have already seen how he had 
been educated along with his brother Alexander, finishing 
at Cambridge University. He obtained his commission 
in the Coldstream Guards through his maternal uncle, 
General Sir James Macdonell, K.C.B., the hero of Hou- 
goumont. He was aide-de-camp to his uncle when the 
General commanded the Northern District of Ireland. 
His brother, Alexander, visited them at Armagh, in 1834. 
On learning of his brother's death he sold out of the 
Guards, immediately returned home and took the neces- 
sary steps to secure legal possession of the family estates. 
On the 25th of March, 1839, he was specially served heir 
to the lands of Breackachy and all the others held direct 
from the Crown as the only brother german and nearest 
lawful heir male of tailzie and provision of his late brother 
Alexander, and was duly retoured to Chancery. Infeft- 
ment followed on the 4th of April, with a precept of 
slipterm from Chancery in his favour, dated the 26th 
of June, and an instrument of sasine thereon, dated the 
17th of September, recorded in the General Register of 
sasines on the 16th of October, all in 1839. On the 
9th of September in the same year he is specially served 
in the lands of Wester Comar, the two Erchlesses, and 
Comar Kirkton, of which, as previously stated, Duncan 

* Inverness Herald of 2ist September, 1838. 


Fraser of Fingask was the superior, and against whose 
heirs, successors, and representatives he has Special Letters, 
charging them to enter heir to him in these lands, dated 
the ioth and signeted on the nth of September. Upon 
this follows a decree of Declarator of Tinsel of Superiority 
obtained on the 22nd of January, 1840, at his instance 
before the Lords of Council and Session against the heirs 
and representatives of Duncan Fraser of Fingask. He 
has a precept of infeftment in these lands, dated the 5th 
of February, and written to the seal on the 12th of 
March, with an instrument of sasine thereon, dated the 
1st, and registered in the General Register of sasines 
on the 8th of April, 1840. He has a precept of Clare 
Constat in his favour by John Stewart, the superior of the 
lands of Buntait and Mauld, on the 2nd of April, with 
an instrument of sasine thereon, dated the 24th of the 
same month, and recorded in the Particular Register of 
sasines, at Inverness, on the 19th of June, 1839. 

Duncan Macdonell Chisholm spent most of his time 
in London and for many years before his death fixed 
his residence there, only occasionally visiting his property 
in the Highlands, and attending the Inverness county 
meetings. He took a prominent position among his 
Highland countrymen in the Metropolis, having occa- 
sionally taken the chair at the annual meetings of the 
Scottish Corporation and similar institutions, and presided 
or took a leading part at the celebration of important 
military anniversaries. He is described as a fluent and 
accomplished speaker. 

Mr. Colin Chisholm, writing in 1857, a year before 
Duncan died, observes that, "it is a question whether 
the present Chisholm could muster six tenants of his 
own name on the whole of Strathglass. Sheep and deer 
now graze on its lonely hills and glens. As for the 
people or Clan Siosal, they were almost to a man 
banished from the place occupied by their forefathers 
for centuries and had to seek an asylum in other lands." 
Matters are not much better as we write in 1890. 


Duncan Macdonell Chisholm died, unmarried, in Lon- 
don, on the 14th September, 1858, aged forty-seven years, 
when the property reverted, in terms of the entail, to 


Great grandson, in the direct male line, of Alexander 
Chisholm of Muckerach, immediate younger brother of 
Roderick, the twenty-first chief, and uncle of Alexander, 
The Chisholm who, in 1777, entailed the estates. He has 
a decree of special service as heir of entail and provision 
expede before the Sheriff of Chancery, on the 14th and 
recorded in the General Register of Sasines on the 23rd 
of December, 1859. His descent is as follows — ALEX- 
ANDER CHISHOLM of Muckerach, who married a daughter 
of Archibald Chisholm of Fasnakyle, of the Knockfin 
family, had a son ARCHIBALD, who married Catherine, 
third daughter of John Matheson, V. of Fernaig and 
Attadale, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of 
Kenneth Mackenzie, I. of Pitlundie, son of Alexander 
Mackenzie, II. of Belmaduthy, by his wife, Catherine, 
daughter of Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, I. of Coul, Baronet.* 
Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach had also a second son, 
Captain John Chisholm, Fasnakyle, who married a daughter 
of Fraser of Fingask, with issue — one son, who died in 
the West Indies, unmarried, and two daughters, who 
married respectively, Fraser of Kinmylies, and Colonel 
James Chisholm of the 71st Regiment. By Catherine 
Matheson, Archibald Chisholm had issue — (1) Roderick ; 

(2) Captain Donald Chisholm of the 42nd Highlanders, 
and afterwards of the H.P. Royal Highlanders, Canada. 
Donald was twice married. His eldest son died in China 
in the house of Jardine, Matheson & Co., and his second 
son died at Blairs, Aberdeenshire, both without issue. 

(3) Alexander, who married Janet, daughter of one of the 
Grants of Glenmoriston, and afterwards settled in the county 

* Mackenzie's History of the Mathesons, pp. 41-42. 


of Antigonish, N.S. RODERICK Chisholm married Miss 
Sutherland, North-West Territory, with issue — James 
Sutherland Chisholm, and a daughter, Jemima, who, on 
the 8th of January, 1840, married Mr. Milner, a Govern- 
ment contractor, in Kingston, Upper Canada. 

Roderick Chisholm emigrated to Glengarry, Ontario, 
early in the present century. He died at Montreal in 1832. 
When, in 1858, James Sutherland Chisholm succeeded to 
the Strathglass estates, he was considerably advanced in 
years, about fifty-two, and unmarried. In 1861, however, 
he returned to Canada, and on the 13th of November 
in that year married a relative of his own, Annie Cecilia, 
daughter of Angus Macdonell, residing in Upper Canada, 
son of Captain James Macdonell, a distinguished and 
loyal British officer, who settled in Montreal after the 
American Revolutionary War. Captain James was a son 
of Allan Macdonell of Ardnaslishnish, third son of yEneas 
Macdonell, III. of Scotos (brother of Alastair Dubh Mac- 
donell, XI. of Glengarry), by Catherine, third daughter of 
Sir Norman Macleod, I. of Bernera, and widow of Alex- 
ander Macleod, VII. of Raasay. The Chisholm, during 
the whole of his rule in Strathglass, lived a quiet and 
retired life ; was a good-hearted Highlander, and, as things 
were understood in his day, a kindly and generous land- 

When his son came of age, in 1883, they at once 
took steps to disentail the estates, which, failing heirs 
male — as they did two years later, on the death of Roderick 
Donald Matheson Chisholm, the twenty-eighth chief, un- 
married, in 1885 — would have reverted to James Chisholm 
Gooden ChishoTm, London, in terms of the entail of 1777, 
as heir of line and nearest heir female of Alexander 
the entailer. Here was a most selfish procedure on 
the part of James Sutherland Chisholm and his son, 
considering all the circumstances. Had it not been for 
this entail of 1777 — for the Muckerach family was excluded 
from the entail of 1742, which in all other respects was 
identical with that of 1777 — neither father nor son would 


have succeeded to the estates, and yet as soon as they 
found themselves in a legal position to do so, they took 
advantage of the Act of 1848, and barred the entail, in 
right of which alone they themselves inherited the property, 
against the next heir mentioned in that deed. It was 
perhaps a natural step to take, but that it was a just one, 
no impartial judge, we believe, will for a moment maintain, 
when all the circumstances of the case are considered. 
The estates were finally disentailed by James Sutherland 
Chisholm, with consent of his only son, in 1884. 
By his wife, Cecilia Macdonell, he had issue — 

1. Roderick Donald Matheson, his heir. 

2. Mary Isabella, who died young. 

3. Louisa Jane. 

4. Annie Margaret. 

James Sutherland Chisholm died at Erchless Castle, on 
Thursday, the 28th of May, 1885, having just entered 
on his eightieth year, and was interred on the Thursday 
following, in the family burying-ground near the Castle. 
He was succeeded in the chiefship and estates by his 
only son, 


Who was born on the 20th of September, 1862. He was 
thus in his twenty-third year when he came into posses- 
sion of the Chisholm estates. Being always in delicate 
health, he never took any very active part in public life, 
even in the Highlands. In 1884 he obtained a commis- 
sion as Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion Seaforth High- 
landers. Dying of diabetes, unmarried, at his mother's 
residence, March Hall, near Edinburgh, on Monday, the 
4th of April, 1887, he was interred in the family burying 
ground near Erchless Castle, Strathglass, when the estate, 
with a rental of .£10,000 a year, went by trust disposi- 
tion to his mother, who is now in possession, but which, 


in terms of the same deed of entail, in virtue of 
which alone the Muckerach family obtained possession 
of it, would have reverted, had not the entail been 
barred, to 

James Chisholm Gooden Chisholm, of Tavistock 
Square, London, grandson of Alexander, the twenty-third 
chief, and great-grandson of Alexander, the twenty-second 
chief, as follows — ALEXANDER, the twenty-second chief 
married first, Elizabeth, daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, 
IV. of Applecross, with issue — (i) Captain Duncan, 
who died before his father ; (2) Alexander, who in 1785 
succeeded his father in the chiefship and estates ; (3) 
Margaret, who married Hugh Fraser of Dunballoch and 
Newton ; (4) Anne, who married Roderick Mackenzie, II. 
of Scotsburn. This Chisholm, married secondly Margaret, 
daughter of George Mackenzie, II. of Allangrange, with 
issue — (5) Roderick, who died before his brother Alex- 
ander, the twenty-third chief, without male issue ; (6) 
William, who, in 1793, succeeded his brother Alexander 
as twenty-fourth chief; (7) James, who died unmarried; 
and three daughters. The last male heir of all these sons 
died out in the person of Duncan Macdonell Chisholm, the 
twenty-sixth chief, on his death, unmarried, in 1858, 
when the representative of the Muckerach family, James 
Sutherland Chisholm, who died in 1885, succeeded. On 
the death of his' only son and successor, Roderick Donald 
Matheson Chisholm, unmarried, in 1887, the last male 
heir of all those mentioned in the deed of entail of 1777 
became extinct. In order to pick up the succession of 
the heir of line next mentioned in the deed of entail we 
must now revert to 

ALEXANDER, the twenty-second chief, who first intro- 
duced the Chisholms of Muckerach into the entail of the 
estate in 1777. He died in December, 1785, when he was 
succeeded in the chiefship and the family estates by his 
eldest surviving son by the first marriage — 

Alexander, the twenty-third chief, who, as already 
stated, in 1776 married Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. George 


Wilson, Edinburgh, with issue, an only daughter — ■ 


Born in March, 1780. Any account of the Chisholms of 
Strathglass would be incomplete without a record of 
what the native tenantry owed to this lady, after- 
wards Mrs. James Gooden, London, and to her mother, 
the Dowager Mrs. Chisholm, widow of Alexander, the 
twenty-third chief. While Mary was a young girl, having 
scarcely entered upon her teens, influence was brought 
to bear upon her father, by neighbouring proprietors 
and friends, to follow the example of the Macdonalds of 
Glengarry and other Highland landlords, who had cleared 
out the native tenantry on their estates for the purpose 
of consolidating their holdings and letting them to southern 
sheep farmers. 

On one occasion four of these southerners, one of whom 
was the grasping Gillespie, of Glencuaich, called at 
Comar House, where The Chisholm at that time resided. 
They remained all night and were, of course, hospitably 
entertained. During the evening they introduced the 
subject of their mission, and used all their uncouth 
eloquence to impress upon their host the great advan- 
tages which would accrue to him if he would only agree 
to evict his native tenantry and let his guests have the 
principal portions of his estates — the best parts of Strath- 
glass — as sheep farms. They pointed to what had been done 
so recently by Glengarry, and strongly urged upon The 
Chisholm that he should deal with his tenantry and estate 
as Mac' ic Alastair had dealt with his property and people a 
few years before, so much, according to them, to his own 
advantage. Father and child listened quietly but respect- 
fully to the cold-blooded proposals of these strangers, 
but Mary, at last losing patience, mildly protested against 
the ruthless eviction of her father's clansmen and retainers 
to make room for such a rough, selfish, unfeeling set as 
she had been just listening to. The girl was rewarded by 


being at once ordered to her room ; but instead of retir- 
ing" there, she found her way to the kitchen, with tears 
in her eyes, and explained to the servants, who gathered 
around her, the cause of her grief. " Never," says Colin 
Chisholm, " was Crami-Tara sent through any district 
with more rapidity than this unwelcome news spread 
through the length and breadth of Strathglass. Early 
next morning there were about a thousand men, includ- 
ing young and old, assembled on the ground at Comar 
House. They demanded an interview with The Chisholm. 
He came out and discussed with them the impropriety 
of alarming his guests. But he was told in reply that 
his guests were infinitely worse than the freebooters who 
had on a former occasion come with sword in hand to rob 
his forefathers of their patrimony — an allusion to a sanguin- 
ary battle which was fought on the plain of Aridh-dhuiean 
many years before, between Clann-'ic-an-Lonathaich, who 
wanted to possess themselves of Strathglass, and the 
Chisholms, who succeeded in keeping possession of it to 
this day. The guests at first anxiously listened at the 
drawing-room windows to the conversation which was 
passing between The Chisholm and his clansmen, but they 
soon made their way quietly down stairs and passed 
through the back door and garden to the stable, where 
they mounted their horses, galloped off helter-skelter, 
followed by the shouts and derision of the assembled 
tenantry across the river Glass, spurring their horses 
and never looking behind them until they reached the 
ridge of Maoil Bhiiidhe, a hill between Strathglass and 
Corriemony. Here they looked back for the first time, 
when they saw a procession being formed at Comar 
House — pipers playing, and The Chisholm being carried 
to Invercannich House on the brawny shoulders of his 
tenantry. Instead of this visit being a cause of sorrow, 
it turned out the happiest day that ever dawned on Strath- 
glass. Chief and clansmen expressed mutual confidence 
in each other, and renewed every ancient and modern 
bond of fealty ever entered into by their forbears. All 


this extraordinary episode in the history of Strathglass 
I heard related over and over again by some of the men 
who took part in chasing the southrons out of the dis- 
trict." Mr. Chisholm adds that about forty-two years ago 
he related to Mary Chisholm, then Mrs. James Gooden, 
London, the Strathglass version of this incident, every 
word of which that lady corroborated, at the same time 
adding regarding her own actions later on — " When my 
father died in 1793, I felt that the welfare of the tenantry 
left in charge of my mother depended in a great measure 
on myself. I was brought up among them, I used to 
be the Gaelic interpreter between them and my mother, 
and they had great confidence in me. However, it was 
in after years, when old age began to impair my mother's 
memory, that I had the greatest anxiety lest the agents 
of The Chisholm should succeed in depriving her of the 
tenantry. I had two objects in view. The first was to 
keep the people comfortable, and the second to hand 
them over as an able class of tenantry to my first cousin, 
the young Chisholm, at the demise of my mother." This, 
as has already been shown, she completely succeeded in 

It will be remembered that Alexander, the twenty-second 
chief, left his widow free to choose as her portion a 
certain sum of money per annum, or alternately the rents 
of so many township lands or joint farms and the grazings 
attached to them, and that, fortunately for the tenants, 
she made choice of the latter. These townships with 
their grazings were : on the north side of the Cannich — 
the davoch of Invercannich, Craskie, Lietry, Shalvanach, 
Mulardich, east and west, Ardtaig, Culdoire, and Mam ; 
on the south side of the same river — Tombuie, Lub- 
Ghiuthais, Cruim, Fraoch-Coire, Lub-na-Meann, Coire- 
Buidhe, Coire-Dhomhain, and Frianach Mhor. On the 
south side of the Glass, she had Balnahaun, Crannaich, 
and Druineach, and the grazings of Pollanfearna. 

But although the tenantry who were fortunate enough 
to possess holdings in these townships- — retained as her 


portion by the Dowager Mrs. Chisholm until her death- 
were allowed to remain in comfortable circumstances on 
their farms, it was not so, as already stated, in the 
case of those who were tenants on the portion of the 
estate which came under the full control of The 
Chisholm himself. They were, as stated by Colin Chis- 
holm, at one time or another evicted almost to a man, 
although they were all in good circumstances, were not 
a penny in arrears of rent, and quite able to take over 
from Lord Lovat a large and valuable stock on the 
farm of Glenstrathfarrar, when, after the Chisholm evic- 
tions, his lordship provided them with holdings on his 
own estate. 

The first great clearance carried out in Strathglass was 
in 1801. William, the Chisholm of that day, was always 
in delicate healch, and the management of the estates fell 
largely into the hands of his wife, whom the natives to 
this day blame for having cleared the whole clan out 
of their native glen, except those who were fortunate 
enough to have been tenants of the " Fair Lady," or, as 
she is still endearingly called by the people of the dis- 
trict, "A Bhantighearna Bhan." The evicted tenants 
crossed the Atlantic in hundreds, most of them settling 
in Cape Breton ; in the county of Antigonish, Nova 
Scotia ; and in Glengarry, Upper Canada. 

Among those who were evicted at this time was 
Domhnull Gobha, the local Gaelic bard already quoted. 
Donald was now very far advanced in years, and did 
not at all relish the idea of being forced to leave his 
native land for a foreign country at his time of life, 
though all his relatives and friends were among those 
whom he was to accompany across the Atlantic. He, 
however, with characteristic cheerfulness, resolved to be 
as happy as the circumstances admitted of; and to lighten 
his own heart and cheer up his friends, he composed a 
poem in which, while bitterly complaining of the inhuman 
system which drove him out of the land of his fore- 
fathers in his old age, he encouraged his companions, 


and drew a hopeful picture of the prospects before them 
and of the fruitfulness and other advantages of the new 
country to which they were going. But of his own chief, 
William, the man who so heartlessly drove away his 
clansmen to make room for sheep and south country 
shepherds, the bard in the anguish of his heart very 
truly said — • 

An t-uachdaran a th'air nar ceann, 

Tha mi 'n duil gun chaill e dhaimh, 

'S fearr leis caoirich 'chur ri gleann 

Na fir an camp le feileadh. 

There was another great clearance in 1810. It is re- 
ferred to in a letter from Bishop ^Eneas Chisholm, 
addressed to " Mrs. Chisholm, Dowager of Chisholm, 
Edinburgh," dated " Fasnakyle, 20th January, 1810," and 
now in our possession. After referring to a previous cor- 
respondence and to an arrangement about their farms 
which had been "amicably and cheerfully adjusted and 
settled " between Mr. Murray, on behalf of Mrs. Chis- 
holm, and her tenantry, the Bishop proceeds : — 

Your tenants are now the object of envy to their surrounding 
neighbours, as they may sleep sound, without so much as a change 
of one individual, or dread of being scattered among the four winds 
of heaven, or where chance may drive them, as the bulk of their 
countrymen presently are. Oh ! madam, you would really feel if 
you only heard the pangs and saw the oozing tears by which I 
am surrounded in this once happy but now devoted valley of Strath- 
glass, looking out all anxiously for a home without forsaking their 
dear valley ; but it will not do, they must emigrate. You will 
have double the population on your locality by the first term that 
The Chisholm will have on his whole property, if the plans adopted 
may be followed, as it is meant, with rigour. I think your King 
and country should thank you. Poor Knockfin, in the bed of dis- 
tress as he is, and no flattering appearance of his recovery, was 
deprived of his extensive farm without asking him the question if 
he would give more or not. A Peebleshire gentleman was pre- 
ferred. Mrs. Chisholm of this place has retained her farm with 
large additions ; she calls for your humble servant to share it with 
her. Perhaps it may be the case, as I cannot aspire at what I 
had for nine years past. Allan Chisholm and his brother Duncan 
are driven from their place by a vile fellow, and sixteen good 


fellows driven out of their places to make room for them. So 
much of the Corrimony plan. 

Every one of the Dowager Mrs. Chisholm's tenants 
remained in their holdings undisturbed until the end of 
her life, notwithstanding the many efforts which had been 
made by the agents of The Chisholm to induce her to 
hand over her township lands and people to him, in return 
for which she was offered not only to be relieved of all 
trouble and responsibility in connection with them, but 
payment, without any expense of collection or manage- 
ment to herself, of a higher rent per annum than she 
was then receiving from her tenants. These offers were so 
tempting and so persistently urged that, when Mrs. Chis- 
holm became old and frail, there was much danger that she 
might yield to the wiles of those who pressed her, but the 
constant care and watchfulness of her daughter, even after 
Mary married and took up her residence in London, pro- 
tected her. 

One of the most active agents employed by The Chis- 
holm for this purpose was William Mackenzie of Muirton, 
W.S., Edinburgh. He made himself so obnoxious to the 
Dowager and her daughter by his persistent efforts and 
liberal promises that Mary, then Mrs. James Gooden, 
on one occasion insisted upon his promising never again 
to speak to her mother on the subject of her Strath- 
glass tenants. However, forgetting or disregarding this 
promise, Mr. Mackenzie returned some time afterwards 
and renewed his former offers, determined to get the 
tenants and their holdings out of the Fair Lady's hands 
and under the immediate control of the chief. He was 
ready to complete the transaction, with pen in hand and 
paper before him, when Mrs. Gooden entered her mother's 
room and peremptorily ordered him out. " Here you 
are again, William," she said, " quite regardless of your 
word of honour and your promise as a gentleman ; 
the sooner you take yourself out of this house the better 
I shall be pleased ; and if ever you come here again 
on your unwelcome errand, to disturb my mother in her 


frail old age, I shall make Edinburgh too hot for 
you." Cowed with shame and confusion, Mr. Mackenzie 
gathered up his papers, left the house, and never again 
returned to it during the life of the venerable lady, who 
under the advice and constant care of her daughter, did 
not allow a single tenant on her jointure lands to be 
disturbed during the thirty-three years she had posses- 
sion of them, from the death of her husband in 1793 
until her own in 1826. 

But this she was not always able to do without annoy- 
ance and expense. Colonel James Chisholm, a military 
officer who had risen from the ranks to the position of 
Lieutenant-Colonel in the army, took a fancy to the farm 
of Tombuie, in Glencannich, for his brother Roderick, 
and he succeeded in getting a promise of it from the 
Dowager on the representation that Archibald Chisholm, 
the occupant, was willing to give it up. The farm was 
thus let over the head of the tenant in possession and 
without his knowledge. Some friend, however, wrote on 
his behalf to Mrs. Gooden, telling her that Archibald 
Chisholm, who had three grown up sons and three 
daughters, never once thought of giving up his farm, and 
calling her attention to the fact that he was one of the 
loyal band who volunteered to make up his company for 
her uncle William, when he obtained his first commission 
in the Glengarry Fencibles. Mrs. Gooden at once com- 
municated with her mother and her agent, Mr. Murray, 
Tain, who was married to Mrs. Chisholm's sister, with the 
result that that gentleman, on the Dowager's behalf, re- 
fused to ratify the agreement to let the farm. The rejected 
tenant sent in a claim for damages, dated 1822, amount- 
ing to .£641 3s. But Mrs. Gooden, with characteristic 
generosity and patriotism, consented to satisfy the un- 
reasonable demands made upon her mother by Roderick 
Chisholm and his brother the Colonel rather than see 
a single one of her mother's tenants evicted during her 
life. The claim for damages is as follows — 

State of claim by Roderick Chisholm, late farmer at Comar, 












now at Crask ; James Chisholm, his eldest son, residing there ; and 
Ensign John Chisholm, R.A.C., also residing there, against Mrs. 
Elizabeth Chisholm of Chisholm, relict of the deceased Alexander 
Chisholm, Esq. : — 

Rent payable to Aigas from Whitsunday to Martinmas, ... £36 o o 

Do. to Alexander Sinclair, wood merchant, Isle of Aigas, 

for pasture, two months from Whitsunday, ... ... 7 IO ° 

Do. to Peter Maclaren, farmer at Comar, for sheep pasture 
from Whitsunday to 2nd September last, 120 sheep at 
6d per head each month, 3 months nine days, ... 9 15 o 

Damage sustained by the necessity of selling 120 sheep to 
Peter Maclaren at 12s each, 4s loss, valued by James 
Laidlaw and James Brydon at ... ... ... ... 24 o o 

Expense of removing and selling cattle, horses, furniture and 
crop, from Comar to Aigas, 15 miles distant ... 

Do. once to Tain from Strathglass, 40 miles 

Do. hire for three days at 5s each ... 

Do. trips from Strathglass to Mr. Reach 

Meliorations paid Aigas for houses 

Damages in name of solatium for not getting possession 

£641 3 o 

Is it any wonder that the memory of these ladies, the 
Dowager Mrs. Chisholm and her daughter, Mrs. Gooden, 
should still be green in Strathglass, and that their names 
should continue to be revered as benefactors of the native 
tenantry by every loyal member of the clan not only in 
their ancestral straths and glens but in every part of the 
world wherever a Chisholm resides ? On the contrary, 
when the times in which they lived and the circumstances 
by which they were surrounded are taken into account, 
it would be a stain on the best side of human nature if 
such noble and entirely unselfish conduct as theirs were 
not endearingly remembered and commemorated ; and we 
are not a little gratified at the part which has fallen to 
our lot in these pages to add a stone to the cairn of affec- 
tionate regard which the people of Strathglass have, in 
their hearts of hearts, raised to the memory of the 
Dowager Mrs. Chisholm and her ever watchful and de- 
voted daughter. 



Mary Chisholm married on the I2th of December, 1812, 
James Gooden, a wealthy London merchant, with issue — 


Born on the 26th of September, 18 16, and now of 
Tavistock Square, London. He is thus the grandson 
in direct lineal descent of Alexander, twenty-third chief, and 
great-grandson of Alexander, the twenty-second chief, who 
entailed the estates ; and had not the late James Suther- 
land Chishlom and his son, Roderick Donald Matheson 
Chisholm, barred the entail in 1884, James Chisholm 
Gooden Chisholm would now be in possession of the 
Strathglass estates, in terms of the entail of 1777, and 
the charter of 1786. The deed of entail, after mention- 
ing all the entailer's brothers and their heirs male, 
proceeds — 

Whom failing, to Archibald Chisholm, eldest son of the deceast 
Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach and the heirs male of his body, 
whom failing, to Lieutenant John Chisholm, second son of the 
said Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach and the heirs male of his 
body, whom all failing, to my nearest and lawful heirs whatso- 
ever the eldest heir female and the descendants of her body, 
excluding all others heirs portioners, and succeeding always with- 
out division through the whole course of female succession in all 
time coming, heritably and irredeemably all and whole the lands 
and estate which formerly pertained to Roderick Chisholm, late 
of Comar. 

It has already been conclusively shown that the last 
male heir of all those whose names appear in the deed 
of entail became extinct in the person of Roderick 
Donald Matheson Chisholm, the twenty-eighth chief, who 
died unmarried in 1887, when the estates would un- 
doubtedly have reverted to James Chisholm Gooden 
Chisholm, London, as lawful and nearest heir whatso- 
ever, he being undoubtedly the eldest heir female of 
the entailer, had the entail not been barred. But this 
is not all. By the same deed he was not only entitled 


but bound to assume, retain, and bear the surname of 
the family and the arms and designation of Chisholm of 
Chisholm as his own proper arms, surname, and designa- 
tion, in all time coming. And more imperative still, it 
is expressly laid down and provided in the deed of entail 
that it shall not be lawful for any of the entailer's heirs, 
male or female, to change the order of succession speci- 
fied in the deed, or to do any act, directly or indirectly, 
whereby the succession may be altered, innovated, or 
changed. That there may be no mistake on this point 
we shall here quote the clause by which these distinct 
conditions regarding the family name and arms and 
against any change in the order of succession specified 
in the entail are expressly declared. It is in the follow- 
ing terms — 

With this provision also that my said eldest son and his heirs 
substitutes and successors above mentioned, shall possess and enjoy 
the lands and others before disponed by virtue of these presents, 
and the charters and infeftments to follow hereon, and by no other 
title whatsoever, and likewise with this provision, that the said 
Duncan Chisholm, my eldest son, and his heirs substitutes and 
successors above mentioned, as well male as female, and the de- 
scendants of their bodies who shall happen to succeed to the lands 
and others before disponed, and the husbands of such of the said 
heirs female (if any be) shall be hoi den and obliged to assume, and 
constantly retain, use, and bear the surname, arms and designation 
of Chisholm of Chisholm as their own proper arms, surname, and 
designation in all time thereafter, and farther, it is hereby expressly 
proinded and declared that it shall not be leisome or lawful to my 
said eldest son or to any of the heirs substitutes or successors above 
mentiojied to alter, innovate, or change the order of succession above 
specified, or to do any other act or deed directly or indirectly whereby 
the same may be anyways altered, innovated, or changed. 

The entailer then finally provides and declares regarding 
the succession, failing heirs male, to his nearest heir 
female as follows : — 

And I hereby bind and oblige me and my heirs and successors 
to make due and lawful resignation of the kinds and others before 
disponed in the hands of my immediate lawful superiors thereof, 


in favours of and for new infeftments of the same to be made and 
granted to myself, and after my decease to the said Duncan Chis- 
holm my eldest son, and the heirs male of his body, whom failing 
to my other heirs substitutes and successors above mentioned, 
according to the order of the substitution and destination of suc- 
cession above specified, whom failing to my nearest and lawful 
heirs and assignees whatsoever, the eldest heir female and the de- 
scendants of her body, excluding all other heirs portioners, and 
succeeding always without division through the whole course of 
succession in all time coming, and that with and under the express 
conditions, provisions, burdens, restrictions, limitations, clauses, 
irritant and faculties, above written allenarly, and no otherwise." 

It may be said, no doubt, that all these conditions and 
provisions were afterwards affected and liable to be changed 
by the Act of 1848, and the amending- Acts of 1875 
and 188 1 ; and so they were. But it is a very glaring in- 
stance of the many cases of legalised robbery with which 
the Highland people have been of late years becoming 
familiar. Tames Chisholm Gooden Chisholm was robbed 
of his undoubted ancestral rights by an Act of Parliament 
which the late James Sutherland Chisholm, with the con- 
currence of his son, thought it just, in the circumstances 
described, to give effect to. Very good. If the rightful 
and legal owner of landed estate can in this way be justly 
deprived of his family rights by Act of Parliament, why 
not extend the principle ? Why not, in the same way, 
by other Acts of Parliament, restore all the landed estate 
in the Highlands and elsewhere to their rightful owners, 
the people ? If it be just by an Act of the Legislature to 
divert a valuable Highland property from its rightful and 
legal owner, as in the case of Strathglass, to those who 
have no other natural or moral right whatever to it than 
an Act of Parliament, how much more just and righteous 
must it be, by similar means, to restore all the land in 
the Highlands to its original and rightful owners, the 
Highland people ? We must leave this important aspect 
of the case to the consideration of the landed classes 
who are at present so plausibly and stoutly engaged in 
maintaining that it would be a great moral wrong to 


deprive any of them of their estates, under any conceiv- 
able circumstances, even by Act of Parliament. 

James Chisholm Gooden Chisholm has for nearly half 
a century been widely and favourably known in London 
Scottish circles. Among his countrymen there, as well 
as throughout the whole north of Scotland, he has always 
been recognised, from his Celtic sympathies and patriotic 
sentiments, as one of our most genuine living High- 
landers. He has ever been ready to befriend and assist 
young men and others from the Highlands, and to pro- 
mote and support every object and movement which he 
considered conducive to the best interests of the High- 
land people. He has for more than forty years taken an 
active interest and prominent part in the management 
of the Highland Society of London, and has long been 
and still is one of its honorary Treasurers. He has 
been a constant and liberal supporter of the Royal Scot- 
tish Hospital and of the Royal Caledonian Schools, and 
is at present a life director of both these excellent insti- 
tutions. He is a member of the Council of London 
University College, and one of the Governors of Uni- 
versity College Hospital. For many years he has been a 
liberal patron of young artists of promise, his sympathies 
in this direction being no doubt largely prompted by the 
fact that he was himself no mean master of the brush in 
his early days. He married, in 185 1, Anne Elizabeth, 
daughter of John Lambert of Banstead, Surrey, with issue — 

1. Chisholm Gooden, born on the 27th of September, 

2. John Lambert Chisholm Gooden, who was born on 
the 6th of February, 1858, and died unmarried on the 
30th of September, 1884. 

3. Roderick Chisholm Gooden, born on the 30th of 
January, 1864. He is an officer in the 3rd Battalion Sea- 
forth Highlanders. 

4. Katherine Mary Chisholm Gooden, who married, first, 
in 1871, Francis James Lindsay Blackwood, with issue — 
one child, who died in infancy. She married, secondly, 

t34 the history of the cihsholms. 

in 1879, Henry Valentine Corrie, a member of the Stock 
Exchange, without issue. 

5. Annie Elizabeth Chisholm Gooden, who married, in 
1877, Arnold Trinder, solicitor, London, with issue — 
Arnold James, William Valentine, Robert Ellet, who died 
in infancy ; Annie Sophia, and Alice Mary. 

6. Hannah Lucy Gooden. 

7. Henrietta Ellen, who, in 1886, married her third 
cousin, Robert Marshall Middleton, barrister, London, a 
cadet of the Middletons of Fettercairn, and great-grandson 
of a sister of the " Fair Lady " of Strathglass. 

Mr. James Gooden had, by Mary Chisholm of Chis- 
holm, a second son, 

Alexander Chisholm, who was born on the 4th of April, 
1818, and died on the 22nd of August, 1841, in the 
twenty-fourth year of his age. He was a scholar of 
Trinity College, Cambridge ; head of the Classical Tripos 
at that University, and Chancellor's medallist in 1840, 
taking a second class degree in Mathematics in the same 
year. He died suddenly of peritonitis at Bonn, while 
reading for the Fellowship of his College, unmarried. 

It is thus clearly established, legally and genealogically, 
that, had not the late James Sutherland Chisholm and his 
son barred the entail of 1777, James Chisholm Gooden 
Chisholm would not only have succeeded to the Strath- 
glass estates but would also have been obliged in terms 
of that entail, to assume, and constantly retain, use, and 
bear the surname, arms, and designation of Chisholm of 
Chisholm as his own proper arms, surname, and designa- 
tion in all time coming, as heir of line and nearest heir 
female of the entailer. 

When, in 1887, the estates went out of the entailer's 
family, on the death, unmarried, of the late Roderick 
Donald Matheson Chisholm, the last heir male, who left 
them to his mother — a lady who cannot be said to 
have the remotest claim to the property, either by right 
of descent or deed of entail, or on any other ground 
whatever, except that she was the wife of one Chisholm 


and the mother of another — it was only natural that James 
Chisholm Gooden should claim his rights as heir of line 
of Alexander Chisholm, the entailer, of which no action 
on the part of the late Chisholm or of his father, or of 
both combined, could ever deprive him. His claim was 
not only natural, but it was his bounden duty, out of 
respect to the intention and desire of his ancestors, and 
what he owed to himself, to his family and posterity, to 
take the necessary steps to give effect, so far as in his 
power lay, to the conditions laid down by his great-grand- 
father and grandfather, the twenty-second and twenty-third 
chiefs, both of whom entailed the estates on the heir of 
line, failing heirs male, as they did fail in 1887 in the 
person of the last male representatives of the Muckerach 
family. He therefore applied to the Lord Lyon King- 
at-Arms, to grant him as the eldest heir female and in 
terms of the deed of entail, the full arms and insignia 
of the family of Chisholm. It will be observed that while 
he never made any claim to be the heir male or chief 
of the clan, he has proved conclusively to the Lord 
Lyon that there was now no heir male of Alexander, the 
entailer, to whom the grant of arms was made in 1760, 
in existence, and that he, as Alexander's heir of line and 
eldest heir female, had not the entail been barred in 
1887, would unquestionably have succeeded to the estates, 
and not only be entitled to assume the family name and 
arms, but would have been bound in terms of the deed 
of entail to do so. To his application the Lord Lyon 
King-at-Arms, replied on May the 17th, 1887, in the 
following terms — 

I have been carefully considering the question regarding sup- 
porters as put in your letter. In no circumstances, even had the 
entail of 1777 still stood, would you have had, even by heraldic 
rule, an absolute right to supporters, but your claim to them ex 
gratia would have been very strong, very much stronger than that 
of the heir of li7ie of the younger family. But the possession of the 
estates by the Muckerach branch brings their heir of line into such 
a position that were an application made by him (or her) at a 
future date it would be rather a strong measure to refuse it. Her- 
aldically, however, you are more entitled to the undifferenced ChiS' 


holm coat than that representative could be, who, were he making 
application here, could I think only be allowed that coat with a 
mark of cadency, and, therefore, it does seem a little paradoxical 
that the undifferenced coat should be without supporters and the 
differenced coat with them. On full consideration, the result at 
which I have arrived — and that not without difficulty — is that 
though I would not be justified in allowing you the supporters 
exactly as recorded in our books in 1760 and 1812, the difficulty 
could be got over by an alteration in the attitude of the savages' 
clubs, making them in your case rest not on the shoulders but on 
the ground (as in the case of the supporters of the Earl of Morton 
and some other instances.) This would leave it open to the heir 
female of the younger branch to apply ex gratia at any future time 
for the supporters as recorded in 1760 and 181 2. 

Almost immediately afterwards it was officially announced 
that, in consequence of the late Chisholm, Roderick Donald 
Matheson Chisholm, having died unmarried, the Lord Lyon 
had granted ex gratia to James Chisholm Gooden, in virtue 
of his direct descent from Alexander the entailer, the arms 
of the Chisholm family with the supporters having- their 
clubs reversed. He was also authorised to adopt and 
use the name of Chisholm, in addition to his own, to 
be borne in all time coming by himself, his family, and 
descendants. And he assumed the arms and adopted the 
name accordingly. 

It is not a little curious to find that in the coat of arms 
engraved on the address presented by the Chisholms of 
Canada to Alexander William Chisholm in 1832, already 
given, the savages' clubs are reversed and resting on the 
ground instead of on the shoulders, exactly the same as 
in the arms granted to James Chisholm Gooden Chis- 
holm by the Lord Lyon King-at-Arms in 1887. The 
Canadian savages, however, wear short kilts instead of 
the wreaths round the loins worn by the savages in the 
recorded Chisholm arms, which are described as follows : — 

Arms — A boar's head couped or, on a shield gules. Crest — A 
dexter hand, couped at the wrist, holding a dagger erect proper, 
on which is transfixed a boar's head couped gules. Supporters — 
Two savages wreathed about the head and loins with laurel, and 
bearing knotted clubs over their shoulders proper. Motto — Feros 
ferio. Vi aut virtute. 


This family is descended from John Chisholm, XVI. 
of Comar, " son of Alexander and brother to Thomas," 
who was served heir to his father in the lands of Strath- 
glass on the 19th of December, 1590. John married, 
as his second wife, the eldest daughter of Alexander 
Mackenzie of Coul (son of Colin Cam Mackenzie, XI. 
of Kintail, by Mary, eldest daughter of Roderick Mac- 
kenzie, II. of Davochmaluag), by his second wife, Christian, 
daughter of Hector Munro of Assynt. By Miss Mac- 
kenzie John Chisholm had issue — first, Alexander, his 
heir and successor ; and second, 

I. Thomas Chisholm of Kinneries, called the 
" Tanaistear," and commonly known as "Tomas Mor Mac 
an t-Siosalaich." He married, about 1630, his cousin, 
Catherine, fourth daughter of Roderick Mor Mackenzie, 
I. of Redcastle. third son of Kenneth Mackenzie, X. of 
Kintail, by his wife, Lady Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of 
John, second Earl of Athol. Catherine, whose mother 
was Florence, daughter of Robert Munro, 15th Baron of 
Fowlis, married first, in 1605 (as his second wife), 
Kenneth Mackenzie, III. of Killichriosd, great-grandson 
of the redoubtable Kenneth a Bhlair, VII. of Kintail. 
From this, her first marriage, are descended the Mac- 
kenzies of Suddie and of Ord. To gratify the desire 
of his wife, who wished to be able to see her father's 
and her late husband's lands from her new residence, 
Thomas built his new house at Kinneries, on a rising 
ground above Eskadale. By her, who was advanced in 


years before their marriage, Thomas Mor had issue, an 
only son, Thomas Og. He married, secondly, a daughter 
of Fraser of Ballindovvn, with issue. 

Thomas Mor died, according to the tombstone over 
his grave in the Chisholm portion of the Priory of Beauly, 
in January, 1670. On this stone, which is still in a fairly 
good state of preservation, notwithstanding its exposure 
to the elements for more than two hundred years, he 
is described as "ane honnest gentelman." He was suc- 
ceeded by his only son, by the first marriage, 

II. Thomas Og Chisholm, who afterwards took the 
farm of Lower Knockfin, and the Ath-na-Muileach portion 
of Affric. Thomas was a celebrated sportsman in his day 
and district, his red gun, or "gunna dearg," never, accord- 
ing to local tradition, missing its deadly aim. 

It is related that on one occasion he informed his 
gillies in the evening that he was to proceed next morn- 
ing to a shealing in Affric, to which they were instructed 
to follow him about noon, and to look well about them 
on the way, as he would in all likelihood leave some 
evidence of his own prowess and the unerring accuracy 
of the "gunna dearg" on his track. Acting on these 
instructions, the gillies found, before reaching their des- 
tination, not less than nine roe deer which had been 
brought to earth by their master and his "gunna dearg." 
But, as if this were not enough for one day's sport, 
Thomas having, as they sat down to dinner, observed a 
herd of red deer on the sky line above Doire-Carnach, 
soon finished his repast, made for the hill, and within a 
very short time pulled down a magnificent stag from 
among the herd. 

Those were the days of true sport and real deer-stalking 
and not ours, when the deer are driven like tame cattle 
to a narrow gorge and shot down in dozens as they pass 
along within a few yards by a "sportsman" sitting in an 
easy chair, while one attendant loads his rifles and another 
supplies him with liberal libations of brandy and soda to 
keep up his courage. 


Thomas lived all his days and died at Lower Knockfin. 
He married a daughter of Fraser of Struy, with issue, 
an only son — 

III. Archibald Chisholm, who succeeded him. He 
married a daughter of Colin Mackenzie, Contin, locally 
known as " Cailean Buidhe," with issue — ■ 

1. Colin, who succeeded his father. 

2. John, who married and had a son, John Ban Og, 
who died at Allangrange. and was the last of the family 
interred in the old family burying ground in the Priory 
of Beauly. 

3. A daughter, who married Alexander Mackintosh, 
with issue. They afterwards, in 1801, emigrated to Nova 

Archibald was succeeded in Lower Knockfin by his 
eldest son, 

IV. Colin Chisholm, who fought both at Sheriff 
Muir and at Culloden. In after life he showed great 
attachment to the arms which he carried, and, from all 
accounts, very effectively used, on these occasions. When 
after the 'Forty-five the Disarming Act, which compelled 
the Highlanders to give up their arms, was passed, Colin 
succeeded in evading the law, and, by a ruse, to keep 
his highly treasured weapons. Before his death he en- 
joined upon his family to take the greatest care of his 
claymores in particular, an injunction which has been 
faithfully given effect to. That which he used at Sheriff 
Muir is in possession of one of his descendants in Nova 
Scotia, and the other, used at Culloden, a heavy weapon 
of Solingen manufacture, is carefully preserved by his 
great-grandson, Colin Chisholm, Namur Cottage, Inverness. 

Colin gave up the farm of Lower Knockfin, and 
removed with his family to Lietry, in Glencannich. 

He married, first, a daughter of Fraser of Ballindown, 
with issue — 

1. Roderick, who married Anne, daughter of John 
Chisholm, " Ian MacAlastair," farmer, with issue — (1) 
Colin, who went to America and was lost sight of ; (2) 


Alexander, who married Mary, daughter of Alexander 
Macrae, farmer, Glencannich, with issue — (a) John, who 
married Isabel, daughter of John Mackenzie, Lietry, with 
issue — a large family now in Cape Breton, Dominion of 
Canada ; (b) William ; and (c) Roderick, both of whom 
went to Nova Scotia. (3) Duncan, who married Mar- 
garet Bain, whose father was tenant of Carnach, Strath- 
glass, with issue — a large family of sons and daughters, 
some of whom emigrated to Canada and the West 
Indies. (4) William, an engineer, who went to Canada, 
and of whose descendants, if any, nothing is known. (5) 
John, who married Janet Chisholm, widow of Christopher 
Macdonell, with issue — (a) John, who emigrated in early 
life and of whom nothing is known ; (b) William, who 
married Margaret Maclaren, with issue — among others, 
John, now in his father's and grandfather's farm in 
Breackachy ; (c) Roderick, who married Eliza, daughter 
of John Chisholm, Comar, with issue ; he emigrated to 
Australia where he is still alive ; (d) Archibald, who also 
went to Australia, where he resides, married, with issue ; 
(e) Alexander, who died in Strathglass unmarried. (6) 
Archibald, who married Catherine, daughter of Colin 
Chisholm, with issue, the only one of whom anything is 
known being Roderick, a farmer in Aberdeenshire. (7) 
Helen, who married Alexander Chisholm, farmer, Knock- 
fin, with issue. He emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1801. 
(8) Catherine, who married Duncan Macrae, farmer, 
Crasky, Glencannich, with issue — two sons and three 
daughters ; Finlay married without issue ; William, who 
died unmarried ; Margaret, who married John Chisholm, 
farmer, Balnahaun, with issue — William, farmer, Barnyards, 
who married Helen, daughter of Roderick Chisholm, 
farmer, Comar, with issue — several sons ; Finlay, who 
married Mary, daughter of Finlay Macrae, farmer, Strath- 
conan, with issue — one son, the Rev. James Chisholm, 
priest at Castlebay, Barra, and several daughters ; John, who 
died unmarried ; Valentine, a priest, who died at Bridge 
of Allan ; Alexander, who married Flora, daughter of 


William Mackenzie, farmer, Wester Croicheal, with issue — 
several sons and daughters ; Duncan, who married Isabel, 
daughter of Donald Macdonald, farmer, Dell, Stratherrick, 
with issue — -two sons, one of whom is the Rev. Donald 
Chisholm, priest at Stratherrick, and several daughters ; 
Ann, who died unmarried, and Helen, who married 
Donald Chisholm, farmer, Crasky, with issue — one son, 
Finlay, a farmer in Stratherrick, who married and died 
there in 1889, leaving issue. 

Colin married, secondly, Mary Macdonell, " Mairi 
Nighean Ian Ruaidh," by whom he had issue — 

2. Colin, who succeeded him in Lietry. 

3. Mary, who married Hugh Macdonell, with issue, 
from whom are descended the Rev. John Chisholm, 
Heatherton, county of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and his 
brother, the Rev. Archibald Chisholm, Cape Breton. 

4. Griadach, and 

5. Helen, both of whom died young. 

Colin was succeeded in Lietry by his eldest son by 
the second marriage, 

V. Colin Chisholm, who married Eliza, daughter of 
William Chisholm, Comar, and sister of Alexander Chis- 
holm, Samalaman, proprietor of Lochans, Glenmoidart, 
with issue — • 

1. Duncan, who died unmarried in New York. 

2. Colin, who succeeded his father in the farm. 

3. James, who died in infancy. 

4. John, who married Catherine, daughter of John Chis- 
holm, Comar, with issue — a son, Duncan, who died 
unmarried, and a daughter Mary, who married James 
Maclean, Midmain, with issue — -four daughters. James 
Maclean died in March, 1890, and was buried in Tom- 
nahurich Cemetery, Inverness. 

5. Archibald, a captain in the Royal African Corps. 
While in command on the coast of Senegambia he dis- 
tinguished himself by the capture of several slave dhows. 
The following extract from a letter, dated " Goree, 22nd 
April, 18 14," and addressed to his superior in command, 


Major (afterwards Colonel) James Chisholm, affords a good 
illustration of the dangerous work in which he was almost 
constantly engaged. Archibald writes: — 

In compliance with your orders, I beg leave to submit for your 
information the following statement of the circumstance which 
occurred in the river Gambia on the 16th inst. Captain Mackenzie, 
with upwards of forty men, was on board of the schooner " Union ; " 
Ensign Walker and eighteen on board of the brig " Neptune ; " and 
I, with twenty-seven, on board of the sloop " Young Frederick." 
About eight o'clock in the morning we saw the Spanish brig laying 
at anchor about three miles up in a small branch of the Gambia, 
called Samel River. Without any loss of time we approached her 
and proceeded to enter the creek, but found that it was very diffi- 
cult to get where she was but by high water ; we consequently 
anchored at the mouth of the creek, and sent a boat with a sergeant 
and six men to the Spaniard to acquaint him with our determination 
to attack him if he should not surrender his vessel. When our boat 
got near him he fired a round of grape shot at it, which luckily 
did no more harm than obliged it to return. He instantly followed 
it with his own boat for the purpose of getting a view of us, and 
when I saw that he was returning back to his vessel I directed a 
gun to be fired at him from the sloop which broke one of the oars 
in his boat, and, judging from his conduct towards our boat, and not 
coming to when we fired at him, that his intention was to make re- 
sistance or endeavour to run away, we immediately sailed up the 
river, but, unfortunately, the brig got aground as she was entering 
the creek. The Spanish captain, seeing that she could render us 
no assistance, made every attempt to set sail, from which we were 
obliged to proceed without him. The Spanish vessel was moored 
across the river, with all her guns on one side, in order to bear 
upon us. The " Union " having the lead, received the first broad- 
side from her, which killed two men. She then unfortunately ran 
on shore at the same time, and only fired two shots at the Spaniard, 
nor was she able to give me the smallest assistance. I instantly went 
between them in order to board the Spaniard, but before I could 
effect that he fired two broadsides at the sloop, but at last I got in 
below his bowsprit and the brave soldiers kept up a constant firing 
at him. They in fact almost cleared the upper deck before we 
boarded him. Then the Spaniard opened his ports on the other 
side and tried to remove his guns to get them to bear on the sloop, 
which was fastened to his vessel by our anchor. However, he failed 
in that attempt, and all his men were immediately driven from their 
guns by the gallant soldiers' musketry and bayonets, which soon 
obliged them to leave the centre deck entirely and run to the hold. 


But when the Spanish captain found himself overpowered, and 
seeing no chance of escaping, he set fire to one of his magazines, 
by which his own cabin and the greater part of the upper deck 
were blown up in the air, and set fire to the whole of his rigging, 
and which killed some of the soldiers, and left the rest of them in 
a very deplorable condition with their heads, hands, and feet bruised 
. and burnt. In this distressed situation we were left. The Spaniards 
made a desperate attack to clear their own deck, and to board us, 
as they saw that the ammunition we had was expended. I, how- 
ever, found a few rounds in a cask, and gave them to the men, who 
kept up a very brisk fire, and cleared the deck of the Spanish vessel 
a second time. We then got possession of a large basket of their 
ammunition, which enabled us to decide the affair in a very short 

The Spanish captain and most of his crew were killed ; the rest 
of them after being severely wounded jumped into the water. When 
I saw that, I ordered the soldiers to save them and to pick them 
up out of the water, which order was soon obeyed. After the action 
was over, I had but very little hope of saving the sloop or the lives 
of the remainder of the men under my command from the violent 
flames of the other vessel, by which she was consumed to ashes in 
less than three hours after we quitted her. Though the men were 
in a disabled state, their dexterity, and great exertions in cutting 
cable ropes, etc., were wonderful. I may say with truth, that were 
it not for the assistance afforded us by Mr. Wilson (late mate of the 
" Dores " Transport), who came to us at the close of the engage- 
ment with a boat from the " Neptune," as he knew we had none 
of our own, it was impossible for us to succeed in disentangling 
the two vessels. 

The following letter was sent to Archibald's father, by 
his commanding officer, Colonel James Chisholm, inti- 
mating his early death : — 


Mr. Colin Chisholm, senior, 
Lietry, Strathglass, 

By Inverness, N.B. 

20 Suffolk Street, Charing Cross, 

14th October, 1816. 

My dear sir, — It is with the sincerest grief that I am obliged to 

convey to you the sorrowful tidings of your most worthy son, 

Lieutenant Archibald Chisholm's death. He departed this life on 

the 2 1st of July last, after eleven days' illness, of the yellow fever. 


The only consolation I can offer you on this melancholy occasion 
is that your son died as he lived, a real good Christian, and that 
his death is greatly lamented by every person who had the 
pleasure of his acquaintance, and by none more so than myself. 
His conduct from the day he joined the regiment was such as 
will ever endear his memory to me, and as a mark of my regard 
for him it was my intention to have purchased a Company when- 
ever it could be accomplished, and the very day I received in- 
formation of his death I made application to that effect. 

I think it right to acquaint you that I have ^300 in my possession 
belonging" to your late and much regretted son, which I shall be 
ready to deliver to you or any of his other friends as may be 
directed in his will, as I have every reason to believe, from 
the uniform regularity of his conduct, that he has left one, which 
will, of course, be found among his papers and sent home. 

I have written to Lieutenant James Maclean on the subject, and 
when I receive his answer I shall write to you again. In the 
meantime, if you are in want of any money, you may draw on 
my agent (Angus Macdonald, Esq., of Pall Mall Court.) — I remain, 
my dear sir, with best wishes, very sincerely yours, 

J. Chisholm, Lieutenant-Colonel. 

Archibald died at St. Helena, unmarried, on the 21st of 
July, 1816. 

6. Mary, who married Alexander Chisholm, farmer, 
Carrie, Glencannich, with issue. They all emigrated to 
Nova Scotia in 1803. 

7. Anne, who married Angus, son of Alexander Mac- 
donell, farmer, Invercannich, with issue — two daughters, 
who, with their mother, emigrated to Glengarry, Canada. 

8. Helen, who died young. 

Colin died on the 8th of February, 1833, his wife 
having predeceased him by many years on the 1st of 
May, 1795. 

He was succeeded in Lietry by his eldest son, 
VI. COLIN CHISHOLM, who married Mary, daughter 
of Alexander Macdonell, farmer, Invercannich, with issue — 

1. Colin, afterwards of Her Majesty's Customs. 

2. yEneas, now tacksman of Invercannich, who married, 
first, Christina, daughter of Angus Mackenzie, Inchmhuilt, 
by whom he had issue — two sons who died in infancy. 


She died on the 15th of March, 1849. He married 
secondly, Flora, daughter of Duncan Macdonald, farmer, 
Kingillie, with issue — (1) Archibald Alexander, Procurator- 
Fiscal, Lochmaddy ; (2) Duncan, Broadmoor, Colorado 
Springs, United States of America ; (3) Jessie Christina, a 
Franciscan nun in Glasgow ; (4) Mary. His second wife 
died on the nth of December, 1863. 

3. Archibald, a priest, who, on the nth of December, 
1869, died in Glasgow. 

4. Alexander, tacksman, Glencarron, who married May, 
daughter of Angus Mackenzie, Inchmhuilt, with issue — (1) 
Colin ; (2) Donald, drowned in Glencoe ; (3) Katherine ; (4) 

5. Duncan Chisholm, coal merchant, Inverness, who, in 
1886, married Christina, daughter of the late Duncan Chis- 
holm, Culbo, descended from the first marriage of his own 
ancestor, Thomas Og Chisholm, of Lower Knockfin, with- 
out issue. 

6. Theodore, who married Margaret, daughter of William 
Mackenzie, Gaick Forest, with issue — (1) Colin Aloysius, 
solicitor, Denver, Colorado, United States of America, who 
married Mary O'Connor. She died in 1887, without issue. 
(2) George ^Eneas, who died in infancy ; (3) Archibald 
Alexander, Denver, Colorado ; (4) George yEneas Hugh ; 
(5) Mary Isabella; (6) Eliza Theresa, who, in 1885, married 
Louis Pallett, with issue — Margaret Mary Theodora; (7) 
Helen Matilda, a sister of Notre Dame, Battersea, London ; 
and (8) Georgina Mary. 

7. Hugh, Canon of St. Mirrens, Paisley. 

8. Eliza, who married Alexander Chisholm, farmer, 
Raonbhraid, Strathglass, with issue — (1) Donald, who died 
young ; (2) Duncan ; (3) Colin, Inspector of Police, London, 
who married Anne, daughter of Hugh Maclachlan, Ross of 
Mull, with surviving issue — Colin Alexander, Margaret, 
and Elizabeth Emily ; (4) Isabel, who married John Mac- 
kenzie, London, Ontario, Canada ; (5) Margaret, who 
married Donald Chisholm, farmer, Breackachy, with issue 
— Alexander, Donald, Katherine, and Elizabeth ; (6) Anne, 



unmarried ; and (7) Christina, who married Alexander 
Chisholm, Superintendent, Inverness-shire County Police, 
Inverness, with issue — Donald, Alexander Joseph, and 
Eliza Mary. 

9. Helen, who married Peter Chisholm, farmer, Glen- 
cannich, cousin-german to the late James Sutherland 
Chisholm, who succeeded to the Strathglass estates in 
1858, and died in 1885. He died on the 21st of February, 
1875, having had issue — (1) Alexander; (2) Colin John; 
(3) Duncan, who died in Africa in 1872 ; (4) Archibald ; 
(5) William, who died in Colorado in 1889; and (6) Eliza. 

10. Isabel, who married John Fraser. They emigrated 
to Australia. She died on the passage out on the 4th of 
November, 1854. 

11. Mary, who married the late Thomas Forbes, Conon- 
bank, Kirkhill, with issue. She died on the 27th of 
December, i860. 

Colin died on the 29th of December, 1846 (his wife 
having died on the 29th of May, 1864) when he was 
succeeded as representative of the family by his eldest son, 

VII. Colin Chisholm, now of Namur Cottage, Inver- 
ness. Having secured an appointment in Her Majesty's 
Customs he proceeded to Liverpool in 1835, where he 
remained until 1842, when he was transferred to London. 
While in Liverpool he had under the same roof with 
him, and as one of his companions, Evan MacColl, the 
Bard of Lochfine, living and still singing sweetly as the 
mavis in his eighty-third year in Kingston, Canada. 
Another of Mr. Chisholm's acquaintances in Liverpool 
was the late John Mackenzie, of the Beauties of Gaelic 
Poetry, who made a prolonged stay there at the time, 
taking the names of subscribers for his famous collection 
of the works and lives of the Gaelic bards. On Mr. 
Chisholm's removal to London, he very soon became a 
central figure among the best and most patriotic High- 
landers in the Metropolis. Having joined the Gaelic 
Society of London, in a few years he became one of 
its most active office-bearers, and ultimately its president, 


a position which he held from 1869 to 1876, when he 
left London for Inverness. There, though trammelled 
by the rules of the public service in which he was em- 
ployed, he patriotically held aloft the Gaelic banner. He 
was about the first to advocate, in London, the principles 
which were, to a certain extent, afterwards given effect 
to, in 1886, in the Crofters Act. In season and out of 
season he opposed the deer-foresting mania, which has 
been the cause of so much distress and misery in the 
Highlands, and he has consistently, during the whole of 
his official life and since, advocated the abolition or very 
great curtailment of the system. In 1871 he retired 
from the public service, and in 1876 removed with his 
family to Inverness, where he soon became one of the 
most energetic and useful members of the Gaelic Society, 
whose annual volume of transactions he has so much 
enriched by many valuable contributions on the social 
condition, history, poetry, and traditions of the High- 
lands. His papers on "The Clearing of the Glens," first 
published in The Transactions of the Gaelic Society of 
Inverness, have been extensively quoted, and his " Tradi- 
tions of Strathglass," which originally appeared in volumes 
VI. and VII. of the Celtic Magazine, have been consider- 
ably drawn upon in and much to the advantage of this 
work. Mr. Chisholm is a walking encyclopcedia of High- 
land traditions, Gaelic poetry and lore, and is in this 
respect, it is believed, without any living competitor among 
the present generation of Highlanders. 

He married, in 185 1, Anna, youngest daughter of 
William Suggate, Oulton, Suffolk, with issue — 

1. Colin, who died in his sixth year. 

2. Mary, who died in infancy. 

3. Isabel, who also died in infancy. 

4. Helena. 

5. Emilie Monica. 

6. Flora, who died in her seventeenth year, on the 1st 
of August, 1878. 

Mrs. Chisholm died, in London, on the 2nd of De- 
cember, 1 J 


The Chisholms of Knockfin are descended from Alex- 
ander Chisholm, XVII. of Strathglass, by his wife, a 
daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, V. of Gairloch. The 
first of the family was 

I. Colin Chisholm, son of Alexander, as above, and 
brother of Angus, the eighteenth chief, commonly called 
"An Siosal Cam," who died without issue, and of Alex- 
ander, the nineteenth chief, known in the district as "An 
Siosal Og," or the Young Chisholm. It is the common 
tradition in Strathglass that this Colin of Knockfin was 
among the earliest of the natives who began cattle- 
droving in the Highlands. He first bought the cattle of 
his neighbours and afterwards, extending his operations, 
purchased wherever he could find them for sale all over 
the North. That he was successful in making a great 
deal of money in this way is proved by the fact that he 
was able, in 1678, to advance to his brother Alexander, 
who succeeded to the estates and chiefship in 1677, the 
sum of twelve thousand merks for a wadset of Knockfin. 
The grant is docquetted, " Contract of proper wadset 
betwixt Alexander Chisholm of Comer and Colin Chis- 
holm, whereby the former wadsets and impignorates to 
the latter and his heirs and assigns whatsomever the 
half davoch, town and lands, of Knockfin, commonly 
called Easter, Middle, and Wester Knockfin, with certain 
other grazings redeemable for 12,000 merks Scots, dated 
19th August, 1678." 

Colin is said to have been the leader at the local 


battle of Glasbuidhe or Aridhuiean, an engagement which 
took place in his time on a hillside above Fasnakyle 
House between the Camerons and Macmillans of Loch- 
aber on the one hand and the Chisholms of Strathglass 
on the other. The Lochaber men came, as they had 
done on many previous occasions, with the intention of 
" lifting " the cattle of the district, a practice in those 
days prevalent in many parts of the Highlands, and for 
which the people of Lochaber were notorious beyond 
all others. 

The tradition is that Clann 'ic Gille-onaich and the 
Macmillans of Lochaber formed the idea that they could 
on this occasion, by uniting their forces, not only lift 
the cattle, but take possession of Strathglass itself. The 
Chisholms naturally failed to see the justice of all this. 
Such an attempt would be very galling to them at any 
time, but especially so, for various reasons, at this time, 
and their reply was an immediate declaration of war, 
expressing their readiness to abide by the arbitration 
of the sword, and to decide the merits of their conten- 
tion on the moor of Baile-na-bruthach, between Clachan 
and Balnahaun. The raiders objected to that large level 
black moor as the battle field, saying that it was too 
much surrounded by club-farms, and that women and 
children from these townships might be killed unintention- 
ally. Unfortunately for them it was ultimately decided 
by the leaders on both sides to fight the battle on the 
field of Aridhuiean, where, no doubt, it was an advan- 
tage for the Chisholms to fight on ground which they 
must have known much better than their opponents, 
especially as there are several little hillocks on Aridhuiean 
and a burn running through it. This enabled Colin of 
Knockfin, who led the Strathglass men, to place all the 
forces under his command in a favourable position. 

It is stated that the Macmillans and their friends were 
dreadfully shattered by the first fire. Whether this was 
the result of the absence ot proper discipline among 
them, or want of ability on the part of their leader, is 


not known. But it has always been said that Knockfin 
disposed his men in such a masterly manner as to enable 
them to pour their bullets simultaneously into the front 
and flank of the invaders. Decimated as their ranks 
were, the Lochaber men rallied and returned again and 
again to the charge, but without success. 

In the afternoon, after the engagement was over, two 
of the enemy came forward under a flag of truce and 
obtained permission to bury their dead and to carry 
their wounded away. On the following day no less 
than sixteen were removed for this purpose on impro- 
vised ambulances. This mode of conveying the sick, 
wounded or dead, was called in Gaelic "cradh-leabaidh," 
a term, meaning literally in English, anguish or agony 

The defeated Lochaber men did not consider it safe 
to pass through Strathglass by the ordinary road, but 
decided to cross the River Affric with their melan- 
choly procession at the rough fords east of Achagiad, 
called Na Damhanan. In their flight, two or three of 
them observed an old woman trying to conceal a little 
boy from their view, but one of the party succeeded in 
getting hold of him. The simple old nurse implored him 
not to hurt the child, pleading as her reason that he was 
the son of Chisholm of Knockin. " No fear of him," 
said the raider, "keep quiet, I will take care of him, and 
he will probably take care of me, till I get out of the 
Strathglass woods." So saying he raised the boy upon 
his shoulders, remarking in Gaelic, " 'S e guailleachan as 
fhearr learn a gheibh mi gu h-oidhche," he is the safest 
tunic I can get until night. The faithful nurse was naturally 
much alarmed, but she was told to follow quietly, and 
when the Lochaber men passed out of the wood above 
Guisachan, the boy was restored to her none the worse 
of his part in the retreat of the invaders. 

One of the enemy was left lying mortally wounded on 
the field of battle, and crying piteously for some one for 
the love of God to give him a drink of water. A Strath- 


glass man who heard him said, "As you ask for it in 
that Name you shall certainly have it," and so saying he 
went to the burn which ran through the field, took off 
his bonnet, filled it with water, and hastily returned to 
the sufferer. Stooping down and holding the water 
to the lips of the wounded man, the ungrateful wretch 
whom he was thus assisting pulled from his pocket a 
" madadh-achlais," or stilletto, and plunged it in the heart 
of his benefactor. 

During the skirmish another Strathglass man was killed 
in a still more treacherous manner. He was attacked by 
two of the enemy's swordsmen, both of whom he kept 
at bay with his good blade for a considerable time, but 
at last, being hard pressed, he placed his back against a 
mud hut which stood near him. Here he successfully 
parried every stroke and thrust aimed at him. Whether 
the length of his sword or his own superiority in wielding 
the weapon enabled him to defend himself against the 
sanguinary efforts of his two deadily enemies it is now 
impossible to say. It is, however, certain that they saw 
no chance of vanquishing him by fair means, so one of 
them conceived the idea of killing him in a most cowardly 
way. To accomplish his object he slipped round, entered 
the bothy quietly by the door, and by raising a sod made 
an aperture from within, whereby he obtained a view of 
the two swordsmen outside, eager as tigers for each others 
life blood. Finding the Strathglass man within reach of 
his sword, he thrust it into his body, from behind, through 
the aperture in the mud wall. Thus the gallant Strath- 
glass man fell, without wound or scar, except the fatal 
stab from his cowardly assassin.* 

Some time after this skirmish, Colin of Knockfin paid 
a visit to Lochiel in Lochaber. While on his way he 
called on a native, in whose house he refreshed himself 
and shaved his beard. Before leaving he discovered that 
his host was the father of two fine young men whom he 
had slain with his own hand in the conflict at Aridhuiean. 

* Colin Chisholm's Traditions of Strathglass. 


It was fortunate for him that he was not recognised, for 
he used to say afterwards that had he been so the prob- 
ability was that he would have had his head as well as 
his beard cut off in the house of his entertainer. 

Colin married on the 24th of June, 1662, Mary, second 
daughter of Patrick Grant, fourth of Glenmoriston, by his 
wife, a daughter of Fraser of Culbokie, with issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Archibald, of Fasnakyle, who married, first, a daughter 
of Kenneth Macrae, of Achtertyre, Lochalsh, with issue — 
(1) Kenneth, who succeeded his father in Fasnakyle, and 
who married Mary, daughter of George Mackenzie, II. of 
Allangrange, and sister of Margaret who, as his second 
wife, married Alexander Chisholm, XXII. of Strathglass. 
Kenneth, by Mary of Allangrange, had issue — an only 
child, Margaret, who married John Chisholm, tacksman 
of Comar, with issue, among others, Theodore Chisholm, 
Struy, now heir male of the house of Chisholm. (2) Alex- 
ander, who married a daughter of Fraser of Ballindown, 
brother of Captain Fraser of Eskadale ; they emigrated to 
Carolina. (3) A daughter, who married Alexander Chis- 
holm, I. of Muckerach, with issue, for which see the 
Muckerach family. Archibald, of Fasnakyle, married, 
secondly, a daughter of Fraser of Aigais, with issue — (4) 
another Kenneth whose descendants, if any, we are un- 
able to trace ; (5) a second Alexander, who married 
Miss Grant from Urquhart, with issue — two daughters ; 
and (6) a daughter, who married Colin, IV. of Knockfin, 
with issue — John, who succeeded his father. 

3. Alexander, of Buntait, who married a daughter of 
" Eachainn Maol " of Maid, with issue — Colin, commonly 
called, " Cailean na Craige." Colin, the eldest son, married 
Mary, daughter of Allan Macdonell, farmer, Acha-na- 
h'Eaglais, Guisachan, with issue — (1) Alexander who emi- 
grated to Canada ; (2) Allan Mor, farmer, Muckerach, 
Glencannich, who married Helen, daughter of Valentine 
Chisholm, Inchully, with issue — (a) Captain Valentine, of 
the 1 2th Regiment of Foot, and afterwards tacksman of 


Lakefield, Glenurquhart. Captain Valentine married Anne, 
daughter of Archibald Macrae, Ardintoul, by his wife, Janet, 
daughter of John Macleod, IX. of Raasay, with issue — -the 
late John Chisholm, Charleston, near Inverness, who married 
Ellen Consitt, daughter of Alexander Stevenson, S.S.C., 
Edinburgh, with surviving issue — Charles John, commission 
agent, Montreal, who married Mary Robertson, of that 
city, without issue ; Edward Consitt, Travancore, India, 
who married Arabella, daughter of Captain Windsor Cary- 
Elwes, of Blackmore Grange, Worcestershire ; Francis 
Louden, Travancore, India ; Minna, who married Andrew 
Macdonald, solicitor, Inverness, with issue — three sons and 
seven daughters ; and Ellen Mary. Captain Valentine 
also had a daughter, Jessie, who, in 1880, died unmarried 
at Inverness, (b) Lieutenant ^Eneas Chisholm, who died, 
unmarried, at the Cape of Good Hope ; (e) John Chis- 
holm, farmer, Mid Crochell ; (d) Alexander Chisholm, who 
went to Canada ; (e) Mary, who married John Forbes, with 
issue ; (f) Anne, who married John M6r Chisholm, farmer, 
Balnahaun, who emigrated to Nova Scotia, where they 
had a large family. (3) Duncan Chisholm, farmer, Kerrow, 
who married Janet, daughter of Theodore Chisholm, tacks- 
man of Comar, with issue — (a) Alexander, a captain in 
the Royal African Corps, afterwards M.P. for County 
Glengarry, Canada, and Colonel-Commandant of the 2nd 
Battalion Glengarry Militia. Alexander emigrated to 
Canada in 18 17, and there married a Miss Macdonald, 
with issue — Colin Duncan Chisholm, now Clerk to the 
District Court in Alexandria, Glengarry, Canada, and 
several other sons and daughters. His father, Duncan, 
followed him to Glengarry in 1822. (b) John, who emi- 
grated with his brother, Captain Alexander, in 18 17. (e) 
Colin who also went to Canada in 1822, whither he was 
accompanied, in that year, by his father and mother and 
two younger brothers, (d) Roderick ; (e) Theodore ; (f) 
Mary, who married Peter Macdonald, farmer, Wester 
Crochell, with issue — several sons ; and (g) Eliza, who 
died unmarried in Canada. Alexander of Buntait, third 


son of Colin, first of Knockfin, had a second son 
John Ban Chisholm, tenant of a small holding at Lietry, 
who married Catherine, daughter of John Macrae, with 
issue — (i) Alexander, who died unmarried ; (2) John, a 
Serjeant- Major in the army, who also died unmarried ; 
(3) James, who enlisted as a private soldier, and by 
sheer merit, after distinguished service, rose to the rank 
of Lieutenant-Colonel in the army. He secured com- 
missions for several of his own relatives, some of whom 
afterwards rendered excellent service to their country. 
He died, at a comparatively early age at Strathglass, 
and was buried at the Clachan of Comar, where the 
following inscription is recorded on his tomb : — 

Here rest the remains of Lieutenant-Colonel James Chisholm, 
of the Royal African Corps. This most distinguished officer having 
served his King and country for a period of thirty-eight years in 
different parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, returned to his native 
glen covered with wounds. He died on the 19th November, 1821, 
aged 56. 

He married, on his deathbed, Mary, daughter of Captain 
John Chisholm, Fasnakyle, without issue. (4) Roderick, 
farmer, Comar, who married Isabell Macrae, with issue — 
two sons and six daughters — (a) James, who secured a 
commission in the army through the interest of his uncle, 
and who himself attained the rank of Colonel in one of 
the Colonial regiments. He raised a native regiment in 
Africa at his own expense, and was subsequently appointed 
Governor of the Gold Coast, in which responsible position 
he died unmarried at a comparatively early age. (b) 
John, who also received a commission through the good 
offices of his uncle, Colonel James, and was an Ensign 
in the army. He retired from the army on half-pay, 
and took a lease of the farm of Comar, Strathglass. He 
married Mary, daughter of Farquhar Macrae, Fadoch, 
Kintail, with issue — James, now tenant of Mid-Craggie, 
Daviot, who married a daughter of Finlay Macrae, farmer, 
Scardroy, Strathconan, with issue ; and two daughters. 
John had also two daughters, both married with issue. 


He died on the 15th of February, 183 1. Roderick's 
six daughters were Margaret, Janet, Catherine, Christina, 
Anne, and Helen, all married, with issue. (5) Archi- 
bald, who married Eliza Chisholm, without issue (6) 
Duncan, a private soldier, killed in action in America. 
He married a Miss Maclean, by whom he left issue — 
one son, James, who followed his father's profession, 
obtained a commission in the army and was killed, 
unmarried, at Quatre Bras, where he served as Lieu- 
tenant. (7) Alexander, junior, of whom nothing is 
known. John Ban Chisholm had also five daughters, 
one of whom, Catharine, married Donald Maclean, Carrie, 
with issue — Roderick, a Captain in the army, who died, 
unmarried, in the United States of America ; James, a 
Major in the army, who subsequently settled at Boulogne, 
in France, where he died and where his daughter married 
the Mayor of the city ; Duncan, an Ensign in the army, 
who died young, unmarried. These three officers also 
obtained their commissions through the interest of their 
maternal uncle, Colonel James Chisholm of the Royal 
African Corps. 

Colin was succeeded by his eldest son, 

II. John Chisholm of Knockfin, generally known as 
"Ian Ruadh." He commanded about two hundred of 
the clan at the battle of Sheriffmuir. Roderick the chief, 
though present, was a minor and too young and inex- 
perienced to assume the command himself. John was 
one of those who, along with The Chisholm and several 
other Highland chiefs and gentlemen signed an address, 
couched in the most loyal terms, to George I. on his 
accession to the British Crown in 17 14, though they all 
fought against him, under the Earl of Mar, at Sheriffmuir, 
in 1715. 

When Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach obtained pos- 
session of the Strathglass estates, after the forfeiture of 
Roderick, the twenty-first chief, he, in 1727, redeemed 
the wadset on Knockfin, but on the 3rd of May, 1728, 
he gave John a new wadset of the same lands, and 


another of the township and lands of Buntait, for a 
similar amount. This contract is docquetted, "Contract 
of wadset 'twixt Alexander Chisholm of Muckerach and 
John Chisholm of Knockfin, of the davoch, town and 
lands, of Buntait, mill and pertinents — wadset to Knock- 
fin for 12,000 merks." On the 26th of May, 172 1, a 
Bailie Court was held at Erchless for the whole lands 
belonging to Roderick Chisholm, the twenty-first chief, 
described as " late of Strathglass," by William Ross of 
Easter Fearn, who had been appointed Bailie by the 
Commissioners for forfeited estates. The following minute 
was recorded : — 

The said William Ross of Easter Fearn, factor aforesaid, insists 
and craves that John Chisholm of Knockfin make payment to him 
of the rents of the lands of Wester, Easter, and Middle Knockfin, 
the shealings and grasings of Collovie, and shealings and grasings 
of Arnamullach. 

John of Knockfin, who was present, 

Acknowledges possession of the lands and contends that he 
cannot be obliged to make payment of=the rents of any part 
thereof in regard he possesses the same by virtue of a contract 
of wadset passed betwixt the deceased Alexander Chisholm of 
Comer, grandfather of the person attainted, and Colin Chisholm 
of Knockfin, his father, whereby the said lands and imprignorate 
and wadset to him for the sum of 12,000 merks Scots money, 
and redemption of the lands, he has good right to uplift the 
rents for his own use, for proving whereof he produces his father's 
sasine [dated the 24th of July, 1679] ' n tne sa id lands, under the 
hand of Alexander Fraser, notary public, and registered at Chan- 
onry the 15th August, 1679. 

Thus the lands of Knockfin were saved from forfeiture, 
when the remainder of the Strathglass estates was lost 
in consequence of the part taken by the chief and clan 
at Sheriffmuir. From this it would appear that the 
Government did not know that John of Knockfin com- 
manded the Chisholms on that occasion ; for had they 
been aware of this fact it is certain that his lands would 
have been forfeited as well as those of his chief. 


John married a daughter of Grant of Corriemony, with 
issue, two sons and five daughters — 

1. Colin, his heir and successor. 

2. A son, who cannot be traced. 

3. Isabella, who married John, son of Theodore Chis- 
holm, son of Alexander, XIX. of Chisholm, with issue. 

4. Margaret, who married Captain Grant of Milton, an 
officer in the Chisholm contingent in 1745, who was 
killed at Culloden. He was the grandfather of Charles 
Grant, M.P. for Inverness-shire, great-grandfather of Lord 
Glenelg, and belonged to the Shewglie family, who were 
cadets of the Grants of Corriemony. 

5. A daughter, who married one of the Macdonells of 
Ardnabee, from whom descended the late Bishop Mac- 
donell of Glengarry, Canada. 

6. A daughter, who married Fraser of Muily, generally 
described of Aigas. 

7. A daughter, who is said to have married a Cameron, 
who went to France. 

Colin was succeeded by his eldest son, 

III. Colin Chisholm of Knockfin who, in his younger 
days with his cousin, Fraser of Culbokie, and Coll Mac- 
donell of Barrisdale, generally called " Colla Ban," was a 
suitor for the hand of a lady of great beauty, the daughter 
of Macdonell of Ardnabee, a cadet of Glengarry. It is 
said that the lady herself favoured Colla Ban, who was 
the handsomest of the three and one of the finest looking 
men in the North of Scotland. Her father, however, pre- 
ferred Culbokie, who was by far the wealthiest, but the 
choice of the old family nurse fell upon Colin of Knock- 
fin, who was a famous deer-stalker ; and to attract the 
young lady's attention, she is said to have composed one 
of the best and sweetest songs in the Gaelic language, 
entitled " Crodh Chailein," in praise of her favourite Colin. 
The burden of the song is, that Knockfin had numerous 
herds of the most beautiful and graceful kind, the red 
deer of the mountain and corry. 

To settle their differences at the point of their clay- 


mores, Colin and Barrisdale, each accompanied by a friend, 
met in the woods of Coogy, in the Braes of Strathglass, 
with what result has not come down to us, but certain 
it is that neither of them won the fair lady ; for she soon 
afterwards married Fraser of Culbokie, by whom she had 
nine sons and five daughters. 

Colin is said to have won his bride as follows : — He 
and Colla Ban of Barrisdale, who had, like himself, been 
an unsuccessful suitor for the hand of Macdonell of Ard- 
nabee's daughter, became rivals for the hand of Helen 
Grant of Glenmoriston. While both of them were one 
day on a visit at her father's house, a ride to the country 
was proposed. When about to start, and with the horses 
ready at the door, it was discovered that no chair had 
been brought out to enable Miss Helen to mount her 
steed ; whereupon Barrisdale, with characteristic polite- 
ness, rushed into the house to bring one. Before, however 
he could return, Colin of Knockfin lifted the not re- 
luctant damsel in his arms, and placed her in the saddle. 
Glenmoriston, who was looking on, judging from this 
interesting incident the direction in which the feelings of 
his daughter ran, addressed Knockfin, saying, "Colin, the 
lass is yours;" and they were soon afterwards married. 

He thus married Helen, daughter of John Grant " Ian 
A Chragain," sixth of Glenmoriston, by his second wife, 
Janet, fourth daughter of Sir Ewen Cameron Dubh of 
Lochiel, with issue — seven sons and one daughter. 

1. Colin, his heir and successor. 

2. and 3. went abroad, where they died. 
4. 5. and 6. died young. 

7. Valentine, who resided at Inchully, Strathglass, and 
lived to the great age of ninety-six years. Of this patri- 
arch Colin Chisholm says, " I well remember the time 
when Ualan of Inchully attended the wedding of John 
Forbes — Ian Ban Foirbeis — who married Mary, daughter 
of Allan Chisholm, Kerrow. Mary, the bride was a 
grand-daughter of Ualan. Nothing would please the 
young people at the wedding better than to see the 


venerable patriarch on the floor. The old gentleman 
was at the time over ninety years of age, but to please 
his young friends he acceded to their wish, and stepped 
on the floor with a firm gait, offering his arm to the 
bride. 'Now, young people,' said he, 'let another couple 
of you come forward to dance the reel with the bride 
and myself.' 'Too glad of the chance,' responded Ian 
Mor Mac Alastair 'ic Ruairi, at the same moment giving 
his arm to his own grand-aunt, the bride's mother. This 
John Mor Chisholm was great-grandson of Ualan's. There 
were now four generations on the floor, when a fifth came 
on in the person of Alexander, one of John's sons, a 
great-great-grandson of Ualan, so that there were actu- 
ally five generations of the same family of the name of 
Chisholm dancing the reel together." 

Valentine married first Janet, daughter of Macdonell, 
farmer, Mid Crochell, with issue — (1) Bishop John Chis- 
holm, born in February, 1752, and died on the 8th of 
July, 18 14. He was buried in Killchiaran, Lismore ; (2) 
Bishop .^Eneas Chisholm, who died in 18 18, and was 
buried in the same place ; (3) a son, who died in the 
West Indies ; (4) a daughter, who married David, son of 
Fraser of Struy, one of whose descendants was the late 
Bishop William Fraser, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and 
another the Rev. William Fraser, a priest at St. Raphaels, 
Glengarry, Canada ; (5) Helen, who married Allan Mor 
Chisholm, son of " Cailean na Craige," with issue, several 
sons and daughters — (a) Captain Valentine Chisholm, of 
the 1 2th Regiment of Foot, who married Anne, daughter 
of Archibald Macrae, Ardintoul, with issue — the late John 
Chisholm, Charleston, near Inverness, and a daughter, 
Jessie, who died unmarried at Inverness, in 1880. (b) 
Lieutenant ^Eneas Chisholm, who died at the Cape of 
Good Hope, (c) John, farmer, Mid Crochell, who married 
Mary, daughter of John Macrae, farmer, Invercannich, 
with issue — -Allan, who succeeded his father in the same 
farm. Allan, now at Mid Crochell, married Margaret, 
daughter of James Grant, farmer, Glencairn, and sister of 


the late Right Rev. Colin Grant, Roman Catholic Bishop of 
Aberdeen, with issue — two sons, James and John. John, 
son of Allan Mor, had also a son, William, who died in 
Glasgow ; John, who married, with issue, and went to 
Australia ; Anne, who married Colin Mackenzie, with issue 
— five sons, one of whom is the Rev. William Mackenzie, 
priest in Laggan, Badenoch, and two daughters ; Eliza ; 
Janet, who married Patrick Macdonald, with issue ; Mary, 
who married Donald Fraser, Inchmhuilt, with issue ; 
Margaret, who married James Macdonald, post-master, In- 
vercannich, with issue ; Lilias, who married Mr. Gardner, 
Glasgow ; and Helen, who married William Chisholm, 
farmer, Barnyards, (d) Alexander, who went to Canada. 
(e) Mary, who married John Forbes, with issue. (/) Anne, 
who married John Mor Chisholm, farmer, Balnahaun, who 
emigrated to Nova Scotia, where they had a large family. 
Three other daughters, Janet, Catherine, and Helen, died 
unmarried. (6) Mary, who married Alexander Macrae, 
farmer, Carrie, Glencannich, with issue — (a) the Rev. Philip 
Macrae, a priest in Strathglass. (b) Colin Macrae ; and 
(c) Angus Macrae. The two last named were Ensigns 
in the Royal African Corps, and died unmarried in 
Africa. (d) Valentine Macrae, farmer, Carnach, who 
married Margaret, youngest daughter of Alexander Mac- 
donell, farmer, Invercannich, with issue, two sons and 
two daughters — Angus, who married, with issue, several 
sons and daughters ; Colin, unmarried ; Eliza, who married 
Roderick Macdonald, inn-keeper, White Bridge, Strath- 
errick, with surviving issue — Alexander Macdonald, now 
of White Bridge Inn, and the Rev. ^Eneas Macdonald, 
the present priest at Craigtown, Barra. Valentine Macrae's 
second daughter was Mary, who married John Macdonald, 
Millifiach, with issue. Alexander had also four daughters. 
(e) Mary, who married Alexander Chisholm, farmer, 
Kerrow, with issue. (f) Janet, who married William 
Mackenzie, farmer, Lietry, with issue— seven sons, John, 
Valentine, John, and Colin, who still survive, the Rev. 
Angus, who was accidentally poisoned in Dingwall in 


1856, and two others who died young. Janet had also 
three daughters, Flora, who married Alexander Chisholm, 
Boblanie, with issue, and two others, who died young". 
(g) Isabella, who married Finlay Macrae, farmer, Strath- 
conon, with issue — several sons and daughters, one of 
whom, Mary, married Finlay Chisholm, farmer, Eskadale, 
with issue — the Rev. James Chisholm, now priest at 
Castlebay, Barra, and a daughter. Another of Isabella's 
daughters, Anne, married Alexander Macrae, farmer, 
Hughton, Eskadale, with issue — one of whom is the Rev. 
Angus Macrae, now priest at Iochdar, South Uist. (//) 
Anne, who married Ewen Macdonald, farmer, Glencon- 
vinth, with issue — several sons and daughters. 

Colin married, secondly, a daughter of Grant of Corrie- 
mony, without issue. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

IV. Colin Chisholm, "Cailean Og," of Knockfin, 
who, in 1749, married first, Margaret, daughter of Alex- 
ander Mackenzie, III. of Ballone, and widow of James J^^. 
Macrae, of Conchra, Lochalsh, only son of the Rev. John 
Macrae, minister of Dingwall. By her Colin had issue — 

1. Colin "a b'Oige," born on the 1st of February, 
1750. He died unmarried, before his father, having been 
killed at the siege of Quebec, on the 17th of January, 
178 1. At the time of his death he was paymaster of 
the 71st Regiment, or Fraser Highlanders. 

2. Alexander, who was born on the 20th of September, 
1752, and emigrated to America at the head of a large 
number of his fellow-countrymen from Strathglass, when 
the first Glengarry emigration, between 1780 and 1 790, 
took place. If any male descendants of this Alexander 
remain one of them would now be the nearest male heir 
and head of the house of Knockfin. 

3. Helen, born on the 20th of August, 1754. She 
married one of the Grants of Glenmoriston, with issue — 
(1) Colin, a priest who emigrated, and died in Nova 
Scotia. (2) Peter, a Lieutenant in the 68th Regiment, 
married, with issue. He died at Reraig, Lochalsh. (3) 



Janet, who married Alexander Chisholm, grandson of 
Alexander Chisholm, first of Muckerach, with issue — 
Duncan, who, in 1858, claimed the estates of Strathglass, 
but died soon after, without male issue. Janet had also 
three daughters, two of whom were married in Nova 

Colin of Knockfin married, secondly, his cousin, a 
daughter of Archibald Chisholm, Fasnakyle, with issue — 

4. John, who succeeded his father at Knockfin. 

5. Archibald, born on the 15th of December, 1765. 
He was killed, unmarried, by the explosion of a powder 
magazine, while engaged as a volunteer in the American 

Colin was succeeded at Knockfin by his eldest son by 
the second marriage, 

V. John Chisholm, who was born on the 2nd of 
January, 1762, and in 1792, married, first, Jane, daughter 
of William Fraser of Culbockie, with issue — 

1. John, a colonel in the H.E.I.C.S., born on the 16th 
of August, 1793. 

2. William, who was born on the 9th of November, 
1794, and was killed, unmarried, on the 1st of January, 
18 1 8, at Corrygaum, in an action against the Peiswah's 
army, in the Deccan, East India, he being at the time 
serving as a Lieutenant in the Madras Artillery. 

3. Colin, born on the 28th of December, 1795. He 
practised as a solicitor in Inverness, and married Margaret, 
third daughter of John Macdonald, XI. of Glenalladale. 
He died in 1877, having had issue — (1) John Archibald 
Chisholm, of the Holm Mills, Inverness, born in 1829, 
and died on the 27th of March, 1885. He married 
Christina Stewart Beattie, daughter of Andrew Macdonald, 
Sheriff-Substitute of Ross-shire at Stornoway, with issue 
— Archibald, who died young ; Colin, born on the 22nd 
of September, 1870; John Archibald; Margaret; and'Mary 
Stewart Beattie. (2) William, in Australia, unmarried. 
He was born in 183 1. (3) Colin Chisholm, now of the 
Holm Mills, Inverness, born in 1835. He married Dora 


Campbell, Milton, King's County, Ireland, with issue — 
John; William, born in 1872; Mary Jane. (4) yEneas, 
now a priest in Banff. (5) Jane, who died unmarried ; 
(6) Sarah, unmarried ; and (7) Clementina, who died 

4. Archibald, born on the 15th of February, 1798. 
He was a Major in the Madras army, and married Caro- 
line Jones, a native of Northampton, the Mrs. Chisholm 
of emigration fame, with issue — (1) Archibald, who died 
unmarried ; (2) William, who also died unmarried ; (3) 
John Henry, married in Australia, with issue ; (4) Sydney, 
married in Australia ; (5) Caroline, who married the late 
Edward Dwyer Gray, M.P., editor of the Freeman s Journal, 
with issue — one son and two daughters ; and (6) Harriet 
Monica, who married Arthur Lloyd Gruggen. He farms 
extensive lands of his own in Assiniboia, North-West 
Territory of Canada. 

John married, secondly, Hannah, daughter of Fraser of 
Achnacloich, a cadet of the family of Struy, with issue — 

5. Thomas, a priest in Strathglass, born on the 6th of 
July, 1807, and died on the 22nd of February, 1872. 

6. Alexander, who was born on the 19th of November, 
1808. He emigrated to Australia, where he died, at 
Sydney, in 1854. 

John, who died in 181 1, and was the last who occupied 
Knockfin, was succeeded as representative of the family in 
this country by his eldest son, 

VI. Colonel John Chisholm, of the H.E.I.C.S., for 
many years residing at Cheltenham. He married on the 
1 2th of February, 1822, Eliza, second daughter of Hugh 
Fraser of Eskadale, son of Thomas Fraser of Achnacloich, 
with issue — 

1. John, born on the 1st of November, 1825, at Madras. 
He was a physician on the Madras establishment, and died 
unmarried shortly after starting on the march to Lucknow 
during the Mutiny in 1857. 

2. Hugh Fraser, born at Fasnakyle on the 10th of 
December, 1828. He died of measles at Edinburgh in 


his eighteenth year, on the 23rd of January, 1846, while 
attending the University of that city. 

3. William, born on the 3rd of April, 1836, at St. 
Thomas's Mount, Madras, Major in the 40th Regiment 
Madras Native Infantry. He is unmarried. 

4. Thomas, born on the 4th of June, 1838, at Secun- 
derabad, Nizam's Dominions, India. He was a Lieutenant 
in the 1st Madras European Fusiliers, and died unmarried 
on the march, near Lucknow, during the Mutiny. 

5. Anne Jane, born at Bombay. She resides at Chel- 
tenham, unmarried. 

6. Juliana Charlotte, a nun at Swansea, South Wales. 

Colonel John Chisholm, late of Cheltenham, was suc- 
ceeded, as representative of the family, by his only 
surviving son, 

VII. Colonel William Chisholm, late Major in 
40th Regiment Madras Native Infantry, residing at Chel- 
tenham, unmarried. 


I. Theodore Chisholm was the second son of Alex- 
ander Chisholm, XIX. of Chisholm, by his wife, the 
eldest daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, I. of Applecross. 
He lived and died at Balmore, Invercannich. He married 
Margaret, daughter of Fraser of Culbokie, with issue — 
one son, 

II. John Chisholm, who lived and died at Wester 
Knockfin. He married, Isabella, daughter of John, II. 
of Knockfin, with issue — one son, 

III. Theodore Chisholm, who lived and died at 
Comar. He married Mary, daughter of Alexander, second 
son of Archibald Chisholm, Fasnakyle, with issue — 

i. John, who succeeded him in Comar. 

2. Eliza, who married Alexander Macdonell, farmer, 
Invercannich, with issue — (a) Angus, who married Anne, 
daughter of Colin Chisholm, Lietry, with issue, (b) John 
who died unmarried ; (c) Theodore, who married Madeline, 
daughter of Hugh Fraser, farmer, Boblanie, with issue — 
three sons and two daughters. {d) Hugh, who married 
a daughter of Alexander Macrae, a native of Dornie, 
who, like himself, had emigrated to Canada, with issue ; 
and (e) Christopher Macdonell, who married Anne, daugh- 
ter of Hugh Fraser, farmer, Deanny, Glenstrathfarrar, 
brother of the late Robert Fraser of Aigas, with issue — 
two sons and two daughters. (f) Mary, who married 
Colin Chisholm, Lietry, with issue. (g) Isabell, who 
married Colin Chisholm, Clachan, Strathglass, with issue 
— Archibald, Duncan, Hugh, Alexander, and Mary, who 
married John Bisset, Fanellan, with issue, among others, 
the Rev. Alexander Bisset, a priest, now at Stratherrick. 


(/i) Margaret, who married Valentine Macrae, Carnach, 
with issue. 

3. Margaret, who married John Macrae, farmer, Inver- 
cannich, with issue- — (a) Christopher, a Captain in the 
Royal African Corps. He died, unmarried, on the West 
Coast of Africa. (b) Alexander, farmer, Invercannich, 
who married Margaret, daughter of Hugh Fraser, of 
Deanny, with issue — several sons and daughters. All the 
sons went abroad, (c) Finlay, an Ensign in the Royal 
African Corps. He died in that service, unmarried. 
(d) Theodore, a Captain in the same corps. He married 
Christina, daughter of Allan Macdonald, Lochans, Moidart, 
with issue, among others, the Rev. Allan Macrae, now 
priest at Eskadale. Theodore died at Struy. (e) William, 
an Ensign in the Royal African Corps, who died, un- 
married, at Inverness. (f) Angus, who emigrated to 
Australia, and died there unmarried. (g) Isabell, who 
married William Chisholm, Inchully, with issue — several 
sons and daughters, (h) Mary, who married John Chis- 
holm, farmer, Mid Crochell, with issue — three sons and 
five daughters. 

4. Janet, who married Duncan Chisholm, farmer, Ker- 
row, third son of " Cailean na Craige," son of Alexander 
Chisholm of Buntait, with issue, for which see the family 
of Knockfin. 

5. Mary, who married, first, David Fraser, farmer, 
Crasky, of the family of Struy, with issue — (a) William, 
a priest in Glengarry, Canada, (b) Alexander, who died, 
unmarried, in Strathglass. She married, secondly, Roderick 
Macdonell, the hereditary standard-bearer of the Chis- 
holms, with issue — a daughter, Mary, who married Duncan 
Macpherson, schoolmaster, Glencannich. The whole family, 
along with the mother and her husband in their old age, 
emigrated to Glengarry, Canada. 

6. Isabell, who married Duncan Macdonell, farmer, 
Carrie, Glencannich, with issue — (a) Hugh, who emigrated 
to Cape Breton, where he married Flelen Cameron, with 
issue — several sons and daughters. (/;) Colin, who went 


to the same place, where he married a Miss Chisholm, 
whose father, William Chisholm, was originally from 
Knockfin, Strathglass, with issue. (c) Theodore, who 
died, unmarried, at Judique, Cape Breton, (d) Mary, who 
married a Chisholm in Cape Breton, with issue ; and (e) 
Anne, who married another Chisholm, also in Cape Breton. 
Theodore was succeeded, as representative of the family, 
by his only son, 

IV. John Chisholm, who resided most of his time 
at Comar, and died at Struy. He married Margaret, 
daughter of Kenneth, eldest son of Archibald Chisholm, 
Fasnakyle, with issue — 

1. Kenneth, who married Anne, daughter of John Fraser, 
farmer, Achblair, Guisachan, and died without issue. 

2. Theodore, now heir male of the Chisholms of Strath- 
glass, residing at Struy. 

3. John, who emigrated to Australia, where he still 
lives, unmarried. 

4. Alexander, who also emigrated to Australia, where 
he also resides, unmarried. 

5. Catherine, who married John Chisholm, farmer, 
Lietry, with issue. 

6. Mary, who died unmarried. 

7. Margaret, who married John Maclaren, farmer, Comar, 
with issue — several sons and daughters, all of whom emi- 
grated to Australia. 

8. Eliza, who married Roderick, son of John Chisholm, 
farmer, Breackachy. They emigrated to Australia, where 
they had a family of sons and daughters. 

9. Lilias, who died unmarried. 

John is succeeded as representative of the family by 
his eldest surviving son, 

V. Thedore Chisholm, residing at Struy. Since the 
death of Roderick Donald Matheson Chisholm, XXVIII. 
of Chisholm, in 1887, Theodore, possessing not an inch 
of land, and without any visible means of subsistence, is 
heir male and chief of the ancient house of Chisholm. 
He is now about eighty-one years of age and unmarried. 


The first of this family, the representative of which suc- 
ceeded to the Strathglass estates and the chiefship of the 
clan in 1858, was, 

I. Alexander Chisholm, of Muckerach, of whom so 
much has already been said in connection with the for- 
feiture and restoration of the estates after Sheriffmuir. 
He was second son of John Chisholm, XX. of Strath- 
glass, commonly called "an Siosal Ruadh," and immediate 
younger brother of Roderick, the twenty-first chief, in 
whose person the estates had, after 171 5, been forfeited 
to the Crown. He married his cousin, a daughter of 
Archibald Chisholm, of Fasnakyle, and grand-daughter 
of Colin, I. of Knockfin, with issue — 

1. Archibald, his heir. 

2. Captain John Chisholm, of Fasnakyle, mentioned in 
the entail of 1777. He married a daughter of Patrick 
Fraser of Fingask, with issue — one son, Patrick, who died 
in India, unmarried, and two daughters, one of whom 
married Fraser of Kinmylies, and Mary, who married 
Colonel James Chisholm of the Royal African Corps 
without issue. 

He was succeeded as representative of the family by 
his eldest son, 

II. Archibald Chisholm, of Muckerach, upon whom 
Alexander, the twenty-third chief, in 1777, entailed the 
estates, failing heirs male of his own body, and of his 
five sons, and two brothers. He married Catherine, third 


daughter of John Matheson, V. of Fernaig and Attadale, 
with issue — 

1. Roderick, his heir. 

2. Captain Donald Chisholm, of the 42nd Highlanders 
(Black Watch), and afterwards of the H.P. Royal High- 
landers of Canada. He was twice married, with issue — 
two sons, the eldest of whom died unmarried in China 
while in the service of the well-known house of Matheson, 
Jardine, & Co. The other died while a student at Blairs 
College, Aberdeenshire. 

3. Alexander, who married Janet, daughter of one of 
the Grants of Glenmoriston, and emigrated to Nova Scotia, 
where he settled, in the County of Antigonish. He had 
issue — one son, Duncan, who was a claimant to the 
Chisholm estates in 1858, and died unmarried ; also two 

4. Catherine, who married Alexander Chisholm, farmer, 
Craskie, with issue — (1) Roderick, who married Anne, 
daughter of John Chisholm, farmer, Balnahaun, with issue 
—one son and several daughters. (2) Peter, who married 
Helen, daughter of Colin Chisholm, farmer, Lietry, with 
issue. Alexander had also three daughters, Anne, Mary, 
and Catherine, the last of whom married William Chisholm, 
farmer, Craskie, with issue — several sons and daughters, 
one of whom is the Rev. Archibald Chisholm, priest at 

Archibald was succeeded, as representative of the family, 
by his eldest son, 

III. Roderick Chisholm, who emigrated to Canada 
and settled in the North-West Territory, where he was 
engaged on the staff of the Hudson Bay Company. There 
he married Miss Sutherland, with issue — 

1. James Sutherland, his heir. 

2. Jemima, who, on the 8th of January, 1840, married 
Mr. Milner, a Government contractor, in Kingston, Upper 

He died of cholera in Montreal, in 1832, when he was 
succeeded, as representative of the family by his son, 


IV. James Sutherland Chisholm, who, on the 
death of Duncan Macdonell Chisholm, XXVI. of Strath- 
glass, unmarried, in 1858, succeeded to the estates of the 
family and chiefship of the clan. He was at the time 
employed in a mercantile house in Montreal. Having 
secured possession of the Chisholm estates, he returned 
to Canada, and there, on the 13th of November, 1861,. 
married a relative of his own, Annie Cecilia, daughter of 
Angus Macdonell, a cadet of Glengarry, by whom he 
had issue — 

1. Roderick Donald Matheson, his heir. 

2. Mary Isabella, who died young. 

3. Louisa Jane. 

4. Annie Margaret. 

He died at Erchless Castle, Strathglass, on the 28th of 
May, 1885, in his eightieth year, when he was succeeded 
in the estates and chiefship of the clan by his only son, 

V. Roderick Donald Matheson, who was born on 
the 20th of September, 1862, and was thus only in his 
twenty-third year when he entered into possession. He 
died, unmarried, at March Hall, near Edinburgh, on the 
24th of April, 1887, and was interred in the family 
burying-ground, near Erchless Castle. His father, who 
was the last heir male mentioned in it, having barred 
the entail, Roderick was able to leave the estates, with 
a rental of .£10,000 a year, by trust disposition to his 
mother, who is now in possession. 

On the death of Roderick Donald Matheson Chisholm, 
unmarried, in 1887, the last male heir of the Muckerach 
family and the last male representative of all those men- 
tioned in the entail of 1777 died in his person, when 
Theodore Chisholm, now residing in a small thatched 
house, at the roadside, near Struy, on Lord Lovat's 
estate, became male heir and chief of the ancient Clan 
Chisholm. Theodore's family, and those of Knockfin and 
Kinneries, were excluded from the entail, but even if they 
had not, any rights they might have inherited would have 
been barred by the action of the late James Sutherland 


Chisholm when he disentailed the estates. It is, however, 
doubtful if any rights of succession remained in these 
families as heirs male, even in the absence of the pro- 
vision that the estates were to revert to the entailer's 
nearest heirs female when all the male heirs of the others 
mentioned in the deed had become extinct ; for they all 
broke off from the main stem prior to the forfeiture in 
the person of Roderick, the twenty-first chief, for the 
part he took in the Rising" of 171 5. It has therefore 
been maintained that any rights of succession which, in 
the absence of the forfeiture and the entail, would have 
accrued to Theodore or to any of the other remaining 
male representatives of the family are entirely barred, 
quite independently of the provision in favour of heirs 
female in the deed of 1777, and of the disentail by the 
late James Sutherland Chisholm. This is, however, a 
question more for the lawyer than for the historian. 


We began our account of the Northern Chisholms by 
giving at length the late James Logan's impossible de- 
duction of that family from the Earls of Caithness and 
Orkney. We shall begin our account of the Border 
Chisholmes (who have always retained the final E in their 
name) by the reproduction of a well-written, though not 
quite accurate genealogy of the Southern Chisholmes, by 
the late John Scott Chisholme of Stirches, the acknow- 
ledged head of that branch of the family. The following 
is a criticism by Mr. Chisholme of a manuscript history 
or genealogy of the Chisholms of Comar or Strathglass, 
sent to him for his opinion in the form of notes, by 
the late Augustus Colin Mackenzie of Findon, one of a 
family the members of which have made for themselves 
an enduring name in connection with Highland family 
genealogy. It is not a little remarkable, when the lack 
of authentic material is considered, how closely Mr. Chis- 
holme's results agree, on almost every important point, 
with and corroborates the conclusions arrived at from 
other and independent sources in the beginning of this 
work, on the earlier Chisholm chiefs. Mr. Scott Chisholme 
says — 

" I have looked over the Chisholm MS. which is a very 
funny book, for open it where you will something amusing 
turns up. I relish exceedingly the jest of the author 
appropriating a dozen or so of my ancestors, with the 
entire Cromlix branch directly descended from them. It 
is rather unkind of him however to assert that I am not 
my father's son, but merely the son of my great, great 
grandfather. Thus handing me down to posterity in the 


character of the wandering Jew. I promised to put notes 
on your copy of the MS., but it is so confused and 
disconnected that my doing so would not render it more 

"The author, whoever he is, proceeds on the plan of 
seizing upon every Chisholm in the records as prize to 
Comar — steel clad barons of the Border, mitred bishops, 
monks, abbots, and kilted Highlanders, a grim group, all 
marshalled regardless of chronology, genealogy, or any 
other ology, as ancestors of the Comar family. Having 
thus appropriated the whole race, it is not surprising that 
I am left a poor genealogical orphan. But is it surprising 
with such unlimited materials that he has so signally failed 
to make a plausible story. 

" Had he left to me the Border barons and the bishops, 
I would have mode him welcome to prove, if he could, 
that the Comar family are descended from Harald Thane 
of Caithness, Orkney, and Shetland, who married the 
daughter of Mudac or Machead, Earl of Athol, the last 
male descendant of Donald Ban, King of Scotland, but 
I decline the honour of having such Royal ancestry 
thrust upon me, either by him or the reveries of Sir 
Robert Gordon, specially because Boece and other his- 
torians affirm that William the Lion hanged Harald, put 
out the eyes of his only son, Torphin, after causing him 
to be cruelly mutilated, and emasculated every male of 
his race, a procedure on the part of that monarch so 
inimical to my existence from such a source that I prefer 
the more humble Norman origin in which I have been 
taught to believe substantiated as it is by indisputable 
written evidence. 

"The object of the MS. is to show that the name 
Chisholm is of pure Celtic origin, that the race has 
existed in the Highlands as a clan from time immemorial, 
of which Chisholm of Comar is the chief. 

"This assumption is at variance, not only with the 
recorded opinions of all the old etymologists, genealogists, 
antiquarians, and heralds, but with their own records. 


The construction of the name De Cheseholme, as it is 
written in all my early records, is so obviously Anglo- 
Norman, that it is impracticable to find for it a Celtic 
or even a Norse derivation. To assert that it is Celtic 
and that the Chisholmes of that Ilk in the county of 
Roxburgh sprung- from it, and founded a family on the 
Border prior to the reign of Alexander the 3rd is con- 
trary to all family and national history, for there is not 
a solitary instance on record of a Northern Celt aca^iring 
possessions among the Saxons and Anglo-Normans on 
the Marches ; on the contrary the Saxons and Anglo- 
Normans early blended and gradually pressed back the 
Celts north of the Forth. After the commencement of 
the Succession Wars, the Anglo-Normans began slowly 
to obtain a footing along the North-East coast of Scot- 
land, and they gradually spread inland in increasing 
numbers, until they had introduced their Norman names 
and Norman customs into the remote regions of the 
North. The best and most conclusive evidence of the 
fact is derived from existing Highland families, the Gor- 
dons, the Frasers, the Chisholms, Huntlys, etc., etc., were 
all Anglo-Normans who acquired lands in the North by 
gift or marriage, about the same era. Gordon in Berwick- 
shire was the original seat of the Gordons, Huntly that 
of the Huntlys in the same county, Peebleshire of the 
Frasers, and Chisholme in Roxburghshire that of the 

" Skene, author of Manners and Customs of the High- 
landers (one of the best authorities on Highland Gene- 
alogy), in writing of the Comar family, says — ' Few families 
have asserted their claim to be considered as a Gaelic 
clan with greatei vehemence than the Chisholms, notwith- 
standing that there are few whose Lowland origin is less 
doubtful ; hitherto no one has investigated their history, 
but their early charters suffice to establish the real origin 
of the family with great clearness. The name Chisholm 
does not appear in Battle Abbey Roll, so there is no 
distinct authority to prove that the name is actually Nor- 


man, but their documents distinctly show that the name 
was introduced from the low country into the Highlands. 
Their original seat is in Roxourghshire, as we find the 
only person of the name who signed Ragman's Rolls is 
Richard de Chisholme, del Counte de Rokesburgh, and 
in that county the family of Chisholme still remains. 
Therefore their situation, with the character of the name 
itself, seems with sufficient clearness to indicate a Norman 

"Smibert in his Clans professes the same opinion, and 
now that the family history has been carefully investigated, 
the Anglo-Norman origin of the family is proved beyond 
disputation. The question, therefore, is not whether the 
surname is Anglo-Norman or Celtic, but from which in- 
dividual of the name is the Comar family descended ? 

"To enable us to trace this we must abandon the 
fabulous legend about Harald, who was hanged, and all 
his emasculated race, and keep in view that the only 
place in Scotland of the name of Chisholme is the old 
Barony in the county of Roxburgh, that its possesors 
have borne the same name since the reign of Alexander 
III., and for how long before is unknown, as no records 
relating to the family are extant prior to that period. 
Traditions there are, but as I belong to the strict sect 
of genealogists, I put little confidence in mere oral tradi- 
tion, and decline to accept any statement unless supported 
by documentary evidence. 

" First, we have John de Cheseholme, or John of 
Chesholme, named in a Bull of Pope Alexander IV., and 
who, in the reign of Alexander III., had a charter granted 
to him and to Emma de Vetereponte, his wife, by 
William de Vetereponte, Lord of Bolton, of the lands of 
Paxtoun and fishings of Brade in Tweed, with certain 
pendicles in the village of Paxtoun, with the pertinents 
and fishings belonging thereto. 

"Second, Richard de Cheseholme, his son and 
successor, del Counte de Rokesburgh, who along with 
his son, John de Cheseholme, del Counte de Berewyke, 


did homage to Edward T., anno. 1296 {Ragman Rolls). 

"Third, the above John de Cheseholme, afterwards 
Sir John, was forfeited by Edward II. for adherence to 
Robert Bruce. In the Mandate by Edward, addressed 
to his ' Beloved James de Broughton, Chamberlain of 
Scotland,' dated at York, 1 8th September, 13 17, this 
John is styled, ' our Scottish enemy and rebel ' {Rot. 
Scot. 2, Edw. 2). His brother Alexander de Chese- 
holme was also forfeited along with Adam de Paxtoun 
{Rot. Scot. 10, Edward 3). 

"King Edward appears to have conferred a part of the 
estate on Ranulphus de Home, and the remainder on 
Robert de Manvers, but the whole was recovered and 
restored to John de Cheseholme, and confirmed to him 
and to his heir male by a charter of Robert the Bruce, 
dated in the 14th year of his reign (1320). 

"Sir John de Cheseholme married Anne, daughter and 
heiress of Sir Robert Lauder of Quarrelwood, who was 
constable of Urquhart Castle, and had large possessions 
in the counties of Elgin and Nairn. The issue of this 
marriage, so far as is known, was Robert, afterwards Sir 
Robert and John, whose name appears in the Rot Scot., 
in the years 1359-60 and 1363. 

" Fourth, Robert de Cheseholme, who was knighted 
by David II. and taken prisoner with him in the battle 
of Durham, anno. 1346. {Foedera 20, Edward III). Sir 
Robert de Chesholme, on the death of his maternal grand- 
father, Sir Robert Lauder, succeeded to the whole of his 
estates in the counties of Elgin and Nairn, and was 
appointed, prior to 1357, Constable of Urquhart and 
Sheriff of Inverness. For "on the 8th April, 1359, 
Lord Robert de Chesholme, Sheriff of the county of 
Inverness gave in his accounts with all his expenses and 
receipts from Martinmas, 1357" {Chamberlains Rolls, anno. 
1359). There are many deeds still extant, public and 
private relating to this Sir Robert, but I shall only here 
refer to two. The first is a grant made by him of six 
acres of land within the old Castle lands of Inverness, 


for the weal of his soul and the souls of his ancestors 
and successors. It is dated at Inverness, the Feast of the 
Epiphany of the Holy Cross, 1362. In that deed he 
styles himself ' Robert de Chesholme, Knight and Lord 
of the same,' and as there is only one place in the 
Kingdom from which he could take his designation, viz., 
the Barony of Chisholme in the county of Roxburgh, 
the evidence that he was the Border Baron and head of 
his family is by it completely proved. He was also the 
Lord Cheseholme of Auld (Old), whose arms were em- 
blazoned by Sir David Lindsay of the Mount in his 
MS. preserved in the Herald Office. ' Gules a boar's 
head, with the neck pendant, couped argent,' which we 
have borne from time immemorial, confirmed by patents. 
The other deed, which is now before me, is the marriage 
contract of his only daughter, Joneta de Chesholme, with 
Hugh Rose, fourth Baron of Kilravock. It is dated at 
the Church of Auldearn, 2nd January, 1364, and witnessed 
and sealed by the Bishop of Moray and Ross, and by 
William, Earl of Ross and Lord of Skye. In this contract 
Sir Robert de Chesholme is designated as the grandson 
of Sir Robert Lauder, which proves that it was his father, 
Sir John, who married the heiress of Quarrelwood, and 
not his son Sir Robert, as has been asserted, who only 
succeeded to the Lauder estates in Elgin and Nairn in 
right of his mother. 

" I have thus explained the cause which led to the in- 
troduction of the Anglo-Norman name de Cheseholme 
into the North of Scotland ; and there is not one document, 
public or private, or even an adminicle of evidence, to 
show that the surname existed north of the Forth, prior 
to the reign of David II. Sir Robert de Chesholme 
died in 1384. He had issue, so far as is known, Robert, 
afterwards Sir Robert, who succeeded him. Alexander, 
the second son, who married Margaret de la Ard, styled 
Domina de Erchless, co-heiress of the Ard and Erchless 
in the county of Inverness, whose sister married William 
de Fenton, Lord of Bakey ; William, the third son, a 



churchman, and treasurer of Moray, whose name frequently 
appears in the Register of Moray between 1371 and 
1399; and one daughter, Joneta, who married Hugh 
Rose, fourth Baron of Kilravock, in 1364. Other sons 
he may have had ; if so, not the slightest trace of them 
is to be found. 

"Fifth, Sir Robert de Chesholme succeeded his 
father, Sir Robert, in 1384. He married early in life 
Margaret, daughter of Halyburton of that Ilk, in the 
county of Berwick. In 1386 he voluntarily resigned the 
lands of Abereachy and others into the hands of the 
Bishop of Moray, which lands were granted and confirmed 
to Alexander, Lord of Badenoch, in feu ferm {Reg. 
Great Seal, p. 176, No. 39). 

"In 1393, on the 30th August, he appended his seal 
to a mort ancestry award, finding that John Sibbald is 
rightful heir to the lands of Aldrochty, etc. He had 
two sons, John who succeeded him, and Robert who 
eventually succeeded his brother John. 

" SIXTH, JOHN, the eldest son, styled by Sir George 
Mackenzie (King's Advocate for Scotland in the reign of 
Charles II., in his notice of this family), 'John Chesholme 
of that Ilk, in the Shyre of Roxburgh,' married Catherine, 
daughter of Bisset of that Ilk. He granted a charter to 
her relative, John Rose of Kilravock, of the lands of 
Cantrabundy and Little Cantray, dated 24th April, 1420 
{Kilravock Papers). He died in 1436 without heirs male 
of his body, leaving an only daughter, Morella de Ches- 
holme, who married Alexander Sutherland of Duffus, 
grandson of Nicholas Sutherland, second son of Kenneth, 
Earl of Sutherland, killed at the battle of Halidon, anno. 
1333 {Douglas' Peerage, 2nd edition). 

" Morella succeeded to the estates in Moray, Elgin, 
and Nairn, acquired by the marriage of her ancestor with 
the heiress of Sir Robert Lauder of Quarrelwood, but the 
Border estates being male fees, talzied on heirs male, she 
was excluded from them, and they devolved on Robert 
de Chesholme, her father's brother, who, as next heir 


male, carried on the line of the family. Rose gives a 
very distinct account of this event in his history. He 
says, 'Alexander Sutherland of Duffus got Quarrelwood, 
Kinsterie, Brightmanie, etc, in the reign of James II., 
by marrying Morella de Chesholme, heretrix of them. 
The Chesholmes, her predecessors, had gotten the samen 
lands by marrying the daughter and heir of Sir Robert 
Lauder of Quarrelwood, and constable of Urquhart Castle, 
of whom our histories make honourable mention. Her 
father was Chesholme of that Ilk, being heritor of Ches- 
holme in Teviotdale, and of Paxtoun. But it seems 
these have been talzied on heirs male, and thereupon 
she was secluded from them.' Shaw says, ' Morella de 
Chisholme married Alexander Sutherland of Duffus, and 
brought into that family a rich succession of lands which 
had been the heritage of the Lauders, and the heirs male 
of Chesholme enjoyed the proper estate of that family. 

"Seventh, Robert de Chesholme succeeded his 
brother, and was retoured, as his heir male, on a Brieve 
from the Chancery of James I., directed to the Sheriff of 
Teviotdale, ' To serve Robert of Chesholme, brother of 
John of Chesholme, in all lands, etc., in which the latter 
died vest, and seized at the King's faith and peace within 
his sheriffdom, dated 13th Sept., anno. reg. 30 (1436).' 
This Robert was a person of considerable note. He was 
one of the Lords who gave decree on the action raised 
by William Stirling of Cadar against Gilbert of Stirling, 
2 1st January, 1442 {Keir Papers), in which he is styled 
Robert of Chesholme. He married Marion, daughter of 
Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig, ancestor of the Duke 
of Queensberry, by whom he had four sons, John, the 
eldest, who succeeded him, Robert, the second son, 
William, the third, a churchman and eventually vicar of 
Pettin, and Edmund, the fourth son, who founded the 
family of Cromlix and Dundome, in the county of Perth. 
Malcolm says, ' Edmund Chesholme was the first of 
Cromlex. He was a son of the Laird of Chesholme's 
House in Teviotdale. He married first Margaret Sinclair 


of Dryden, widow of Ramsay of Balmain, by whom he 
had two sons ; secondly, he married Janet Drummond 
of Coldoch ' (Malcolms History of Drummond and Chis- 
holme, p. 117). Keith, in his Scottish Bishops, p. 178, 
concurs with Malcolm as to the origin of this branch. 
The Cromlix family rapidly attained to wealth and power ; 
they became hereditary bailies and justiciaries of the 
ecclesiastical lordship of Dunblane, made great alliances 
by marriage, produced several knights and churchmen, 
four of whom were bishops, but became extinct in the 
reign of Charles II. 

" I have given you an outline of the descents of the 
Border family from the earliest period of its historv, 
supported by documentary evidence. The cause of its 
connection with the North, to the time when that con- 
nection ceased by the North country estates passing with 
an heiress to the family of Duffus, after which its history 
is entirely associated with the Border. From the succes- 
sion of Robert Chesholme, who was retoured as heir 
male to his brother John, the father of Morella, the 
descents to the present time from father to son are all 
established by charters and sasines. From the reign of 
James III. the French particle 'de,' previously in use 
before old surnames when the surname and title were 
the same, gradually fell into disuse, and the title 'of that 
Ilk ' was substituted, which implies the head or chief of 
the name. In all their English deeds, this family are so 
styled 'viz., Chesholme of that Ilk,' and also by the old 
historians and genealogists, in the Parliamentary rolls, and 
in the roll of Border Barons, 1587, etc. In their Latin 
deeds their designation is generally in this form, which I 
give from a recorded sasine, dated 15th December, 1623, 
'Walteri Chesholme nunc juniores de Eodem, fillii et 
heredis quondam Walteri Chesholme de Eodem sui patris.' 

" I have also given the origin of the Cromlex branch, 
between whom and the parent stem a firm friendship 
existed, through the wars of the Reformation, and the 
reign of Mary. 


" The other branches of this family were the Chisholmes 
of Parkhill in the county of Roxburgh, of Hayerhope in 
the county of Peebles, and of Selkirk in the county of 
Selkirk, etc., etc." Thus far Mr. Scott Chisholme. 

It will be observed that he is in perfect agreement with 
us regarding the first three heads of the family — John, 
Richard, and Sir John de Chisholme. Mr. Chisholme, 
however, has no notice of Alexander de Chisholme, the 
fourth in our line of chiefs, though he is undoubtedly on 
record and described in an authentic document, dated 
1335, as "Alexander de Chisholme of that Ilk." Mr. Scott 
Chisholmes fourth chief, Sir Robert de Chisholme, is 
our fifth, and his fifth, a second Sir Robert, whose 
very existence has been doubted by some authorities, 
is our sixth ; while his John de Chisholme and sixth 
chief takes the place of our second Sir Robert and sixth 
chief. Our sixth chief and second Sir Robert, Mr. Chis- 
holme adopts as his seventh chief, whereas we hold that 
the Robert who at that time (1436) came into possession 
of the Chisholme lands on the Border was not Sir Robert 
but another and later Robert, the third son of Sir Robert 
de Chisholme by his wife, Margaret, daughter of Hali- 
burton of that Ilk, county of Berwick, and a younger 
brother of John and Alexander de Chisholme, both of 
whom unquestionably succeeded their father, Sir Robert 
de Chisholme, as chiefs of all the Chisholms, north and 
south. That this Robert was the brother of John and 
Alexander is clear from the service, which Mr. Scott 
Chisholme himself quotes, by the Sheriff of Teviotdale, 
who was directed to serve Robert of Chesholme, brother 
of John Chesholme, in all lands, etc., in which the latter 
died vest and seized at the King's faith and peace within 
his sheriffdom" dated 13th September, 1436. That is, 
within the sheriffdom of Teviotdale. He apparently suc- 
ceeded to the Border portion of the family inheritance 
in terms of some agreement with his niece Morella 
Chisholme, who, on her marriage with Alexander Suther- 
land of Duffus, carried all the Border, as well as 


a great portion of the northern estates, to her husband. 

That Morella inherited the lands of Chisholme in Teviot- 
dale has been conclusively proved in the course of this 
history. In a document dated the 20th of April, 15 12, 
it is stated that Morella's daughter, " the said Christian 
Sutherland, Lady of Berriedale, is Jieir of line to follozv 
and pursue the lands of Chisholme in Teviotdak, together 
with the lands of Paxtoti arid other lands of the which 
she is very heir to" and again, referring to Wiliam Suther- 
land, Alexander and Morella's son, and " now laird of 
Duffus," the same document says that he " may never 
have entry to the said lands of Chisholme nor to any 
pertinents thereof, but so much as his grandame, Muriel 
(Morella) of Chisholme, gave him in her widowhood by 
resignation."* It is obvious that Morella could not have 
had these lands to resign unless she had inherited them, 
along with his other lands, from her father, who admittedly 
died without male issue. 

When John de Chisholme died, a family arrangement 
seems to have been entered into by which his eldest 
brother Alexander succeeded to a portion of the northern 
lands, while Robert succeeded to the Border estates, 
though they continued to be nominally claimed by his 
niece and her husband, Alexander Sutherland of Duffus, 
then and for some time afterwards — at least down to 15 12 — 
by their descendants. Alexander having succeeded to very 
extensive possessions in the Highlands on his marriage 
with Margaret de la Aird and Lady of Erchless, would 
naturally be disposed to leave his niece and brother 
Robert to carry out the terms of this arrangement and 
settle the succession to the Border estates of the family 
among themselves. This is what he seems to have done, 
and they finally fell, as was usually the case in those days 
in similar circumstances, to the male competitor, who was 
sure to have had the support of the vassals resident on 
the property in such a dispute with a female member 
of the family, who could not lead them to battle at a 

* See pp. 25-27 for these documents at length. 


time when it was necessary to have a leader of their 
own name in such a hotly-contested region as the Scot- 
tish Borders. 

Mr. Scott Chisholme no doubt asserts that the Border 
estates of the family were then " male fees talzied on 
heirs male," but he produces no evidence in support of 
that contention except a statement by the Rev. Hew 
Rose, author of The History of the Roses of Kilravoek, 
who says that " Her father (Morella Chisholme's) was 
Chesholme of that Ilk, being - heritor of Chesholme in 
Teviotdale and of Paxtoune. But it seems these have 
been talzied to heirs male, and thereupon she was secluded 
from them." From this the natural inference is, that the 
Border estates were talzied on heirs male after the death 
of Morella's father, when she was "thereupon secluded" 
or excluded from them,* though, as it appears from 
the document already quoted, she and her descendants 
laid claim to them for some eighty years later, not- 
withstanding that one of the male heirs held actual 
possession. The point is, however, by no means quite 
clear, and it would be unwise to dogmatise too much 
in favour of either contention in the absence of more 
conclusive documentary evidence than is at present avail- 

We derive the Border family as follows. The first of 
whom we find any record is 

I. John de Chisholme, who is mentioned in a Bull 
of Pope Alexander IV. in 1254. He married Emma de 
Vetereponte or Vipont, daughter of William de Vetere- 
ponte, Lord of Bolton, who as a marriage portion made 
him a grant of the lands and village of Paxton in the 
county of Berwick, and certain fishings in the Tweed. 
By this lady John had issue — 

II. Richard de Cheseholme, who in 1296 is described 
as " Del Counte de Rokesburgh." He was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

III. Sir John de Chesholme, who is designated 

Kilravoek Papers, pp. 62-63. 


"Del Counte de Berwyke" in the same document in 
which his father is named " Del Counte de Rokesburgh." 
It will be seen that, as already stated, Mr. Scott Chisholme 
agrees with us regarding the foregoing as being the first 
three chiefs of the family on record. The next in our list is, 

IV. Alexander de Chisholme. Mr. Chisholme has 
no notice of him. But that he succeeded and was head 
of the family between Sir John and Sir Robert is fully 
established. He is described as " Lord of Chisholme in 
Roxburgh and Paxtoun in Berwickshire," and also as 
"Alexander de Chisholme of that Ilk" in a disputed 
case about fishings in the Tweed in 1335. He was 
succeeded by his son, 

V. Sir Robert de Chisholme, one of the " Magnates 
of Scotland," who fought and was taken prisoner at the 
battle of Neville's Cross in October, 1346. He married 
Anne, daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Lauder of 
Quarrelwood in Morayshire, constable of Urquhart Castle, 
on Loch Ness, and the owner of extensive lands in that 
neighbourhood as well as in other parts of the county of 
Inverness, to which, in right of his wife, Sir Robert de 
Chisholme ultimately succeeded, and thus became the 
owner of a considerable Highland landed estate. By his 
wife he had issue — 

1. Sir Robert, his heir and successor; and 

2. William de Chisholm, Treasurer of Moray. 
He was succeeded by his' eldest son, also 

VI. Sir Robert de Chisholme, who is described as 
"Lord of Chisholme in Roxburghshire" and as "Con- 
stable of the Castle of Urquhart on Lochness." He was 
knighted by David II. in 1357, during his father's life. 
In 1359 he is described as "Lord Robert de Chisholme, 
Sheriff of the county of Inverness," and in 1362 he de- 
signates himself " Robert de Chisholme, Knight, and Lord 
of the same." In the same year he makes a grant of 
lands in the vicinity of Inverness to the poor of the 
parish. In a document dated the 25th of January, 1376, 
he describes himself as " Robert de Cheshelme, Lord of 


that Ilk, Justiciar of the said Regality of Moray." On the 
occasion of King- Robert II. 's visit to Inverness in 1382 
that monarch granted to his son, Alexander, Earl of 
Buchan, lands in Glenurquhart and Glenmoriston, which 
formerly "belonged to Robert de Chisholme, knight, and 
which the said Sir Robert gave up and resigned to the 
King." He is repeatedly on record in connection with 
the North, but for a more extended notice of him and 
his predecessors the reader is referred to the earlier part 
of this work — pp. 13 to 27. Sir Robert married Margaret, 
daughter of Haliburton of that Ilk, in the county of Ber- 
wick, with issue — 

1. John de Chisholme, his heir and successor. 

2. Alexander de Chisholme, who, on the death of his 
brother John, without male issue, succeeded to the chief- 
ship and the Inverness-shire estates. 

3. Robert, who ultimately, on the death of both his 
elder brothers, succeeded to the original family posses- 
sions in Roxburghshire, and became progenitor of the 
present Border Chisholmes. 

4. Janet, who, in 1364, married Hugh Rose, IV. of 
Kilravock, with issue. 

Sir Robert was succeeded in all the family inheritance, 
and as head of the House, by his eldest son, 

VII. John DE Chisholme, who married Catherine 
Bisset, daughter of Bisset of that Ilk, without male issue. 
On his death in 1436, his only child, Morella Chis- 
holme, carried the lands of Quarrelwood, Clunie and 
Clova, in Moray ; Paxtoun in Tweeddale, Kinsterrie in 
Nairnshire, and other extensive possessions, to her hus- 
band, Alexander Sutherland of Duffus. John's next 
brother, Alexander, succeeded to the chiefship and family 
possessions in the Highlands. His youngest brother, 

VIII. Robert de Chisholme, ultimately succeeded to 
the Roxburgh estates and became the head and pro- 
genitor of the Border branch of the family. That this 
Robert was not Sir Robert as claimed by Mr. Scott 
Chisholme, is clear from the Brieve quoted by himself; 


for had he been Sir Robert he would have been so 
described in that document. There is also the insuper- 
able difficulty to be got over that even the second 
Sir Robert Chesholme is on record as early as 1358, or 
seventy-eight years earlier than 1436, the date at which, 
according to Mr. Scott Chisholme himself, this Robert 
succeeded to the Border estates of Chisholme ; and this 
question of dates is much more conclusive than it at once 
appears. When we first meet with the second Sir Robert 
in 1358 he is one of the Justices of the King, and must, 
therefore, have been not less than twenty-one years of age. 
The Robert who succeeded to the Border estates of Chis- 
holme in 1436 must also have been of age before he was 
served heir to his brother John. In this way twenty-one 
years at least must be added to the seventy-eight which 
intervene between the date on which the second Sir 
Robert appears on record in 1358 and this Robert's suc- 
cession in 1436, making the impossible gulf for one man 
to bridge over of more than a hundred years, even if he 
died immediately after succeeding to the Border estates. 
But, on the contrary, he certainly lived down to 1442, 
and probably much longer ; for he was one of the Lords 
of Justiciary who, on the 21st of January in that year, 
gave judgment in an action raised by William Stirling 
against Gilbert of Stirling, in which connection he is 
styled " Robert of Cheshome."* But if there was only 
one Sir Robert, as some authorities maintain, this im- 
passable gulf would become wider still, for we find the 
first Sir Robert on record in the capacity of one of 
"the Magnates of Scotland" as early as 1346, a date 
at which, from what we know of his history, he must 
have been considerably advanced in years. True Mr. 
Scott Chisholme introduces us to a John Chisholme 
after his second Sir Robert, but as he admits this John 
to have been the third Robert's brother, the difficulty as 
regards the dates cannot to any material extent be affected ; 
for this John de Chisholme grants a charter to John 

* Keir Papers. 


Rose, VII. of Kilravock, as late as the 24th of April, 
1420, and he is said to have lived down to 1436, the 
same year in which his brother Robert succeeded him 
in the Border estates of Chisholme. These dates we think 
must be held as conclusive, not only in this particular 
case but as regards all the preceding heads of the House. 

The Robert Chisholme who succeeded to the Border 
estates of the family in 1436, must have been, in these 
circumstances, the younger son of the second Sir Robert ; 
and from him we now proceed to show, as clearly as 
possible, with the slender materials at our disposal, the 
descent of the present Border family. 

Robert married Marion, daughter of Sir William Douglas 
of Drumlanrig, Hawick, and Selkirk, all three Baronies 
of which he received a charter of confirmation, dated the 
30th November, 141 2, from James I., written on vellum 
in the King's own hand. Sir William was an illegitimate 
son of James, Earl of Douglas and Mar, killed at Otter- 
burn on the 19th of August, 1388. By Marion Douglas, 
whose mother was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert 
Stewart of Durisdeer, Robert Chisholme had issue, four 
sons — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Robert, whose descendants, if any, we have not been 
able to trace. 

3. William, who was bred to the church, and became 
vicar of Pettin. 

4. Edmund, progenitor of the Chisholms of Cromlix, 
and of whom separately. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

IX. JOHN CHISHOLME, who married, with issue — 

X. Robert Chisholme, who married, with issue, several 
sons, all of whom apparently predeceased their father, 

XI. George Chisholme, the youngest, who succeeded. 
He engaged, with Scott of Buccleuch and other Border 
chiefs, to relieve James V. of Scotland, at his own 
instigation, from the control and tutelage of the Earl 


of Angus. They were defeated at the battle of Melrose 
in 1526, when Chisholme and the other principal leaders 
were forfeited. On the accession of James, however, in 
1528, the Border chieftains received remission for their 
past offences, and George Chisholme received a charter, 
dated at Edinburgh on the 12th of November, 1 53 1, of 
the lands of Chisholme, Chisholme Middon, Mouslie, 
Woodburn, Merrynier, and other lands in the South of 
Scotland. He married, with issue, four sons and two 
daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XII. Walter Chisholme, who was infeft in his father's 
lands on the 13th of March, 1538. He supported Queen 
Mary during her unfortunate rule in Scotland, and was 
actively engaged in her cause during all the civil wars of 
her reign. In 1564 William Cranston of that Ilk is 
mentioned as " Breder " of this Walter Chisholme — a 
half-brother of course, by the same mother. He married, 
with issue, and on his death, in 1588, was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

XIII. Walter Chisholme, who was infeft in his 
father's lands on the 17th of February, 1589. He married 
Margaret, daughter of John Graham of Wark. He died 
in 16 1 8, leaving issue — an only son, 

XIV. Walter Chisholme, who was infeft in the 
estates on the 15th of December, 1623. During the 
civil war of the period he was a staunch Royalist, and 
served in the King's army. He was taken prisoner at 
the battle of Preston in 1648. He married and had issue — 

1. Walter, who succeeded him. 

2. William, who settled in the North of England. 

He died at Breda in 1652, when he was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

XV. Walter Chisholme, who acquired the property 
and became the first Chisholme of Stirches. He married 
Margaret, only daughter of James Balderstone, with issue — 

1. William, his heir and successor. 

2. Robert, born on the 3rd of July, 1653. He was 
bred to the legal profession, and was afterwards appointed 


Sheriff-Clerk of Selkirkshire. He was the first of the 
Chisholmes of Selkirk. One of his descendants, a great- 
grandson, made a fortune in Jamaica, and on his return 
home in 1874, he purchased the Chisholme estate, the 
original possession of the family in Scotland, from Sir 
James Stewart of Coltness. The late Gilbert Chisholme 
of Stirches, writing to a friend in April. 1826, says, " I 
knew his " (the then proprietor of the old Barony of 
Chisholme's) "grandfather very well. He was ever after 
he became a man a surgeon in Selkirk ; he educated and 
brought up his eldest son to his own profession, and sent 
him to Jamaica to some friends there, where he made a 
good deal of money. He was the father of this young 
man." This purchaser, whose name was William Chis- 
holme, married, with issue male — an only son, who 
succeeded his father, and died without issue in 182 — , 
when the property devolved on his cousin, Scott of 
Coldhouse, in the county of Roxburgh, in right of his 
mother, Margaret Chisholme, who was a sister of William 
who bought the estate. On the accession of Scott of 
Coldhouse he assumed the name of Chisholme. The 
estate has since been sold out of the family. 

Walter Chisholme died in 168 1, when he was succeeded 
by his eldest son, 

XVI. William Chisholme, who was born on the 
nth of January, 1652. He and his son John are on 
record in 1698. He married Mary, only daughter of 
James Brotherstone of Glencairn, with issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Mary, who was born on the 9th of August, 1684, 
and married on the 25th of October, 1708, William Oliver 
of Dinlebyre, with issue — a son, John, and a daughter, 
Mary, who married John Scott of Synton. 

He was succeeded by his only son, 

XVII. John Chisholme, who was born on the nth 
of September, 1682, and married on the 4th of February, 
1708, Mary, second daughter of John Oliver of Dinlebyre, 
Roxburghshire, with issue — a son, 


XVIII. JOHN CinSHOLME, who, on the death of his 
father on the 17th of July, 1755, succeeded to the estates. 
On the 5th of August, 1736, he married Margaret, eldest 
daughter of Alexander Scott of Synton, county of Rox- 
burgh, by his wife, Magdalene, daughter of Sir William 
Eliott of Stobs, and aunt of the celebrated General Augustus 
Eliott, created Lord Heathfield on the 16th of July, 1717, 
for his gallant defence of Gibraltar in 1782. By this lady 
John Chisholme had issue, several sons, two of whom 
predeceased him. On his death, in 1784, he was suc- 
ceeded by his third but eldest surviving son, 

XIX. Gilbert Chisholme, who married, first, on the 
21st of July, 1768, Christina, second daughter of Michael 
Anderson of Tushilaw, county of Selkirk, by his wife 
Janet, daughter of Sir James Nasmyth, baronet of Posso. 
She died in 1800, without issue. He married, secondly, 
on the 17th of August, 1802, Elizabeth, second daughter 
of John Scott of Whitehaugh, county of Roxburgh, by 
Margaret, eldest daughter of co-heiress of Walter Scott of 
Newton Chamberlain, in the same county, with issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Gilbert, who died unmarried in 1820. 

3. Margaret Scott, who died unmarried in 1854. 

4. Christian Anderson. 

He died on the 5th of December, 1826, and was suc- 
ceeded by his eldest son, 

XX. John Scott Chisholme, who married Margaret, 
eldest daughter and co-heir of Robert Walker of Mumrills, 
county of Stirling, by his wife Christian Tytler, daughter 
of John Borthwick of Newton. John Chisholme, in 1852, 
succeeded to the estate of his maternal uncle, James Scott 
of Whitehaugh, when, in terms of the will of that gentle- 
man, he assumed the surname of Scott in addition to his 
own. By his wife, who still survives, he had issue — 

1. John James, his heir and successor. 

2. Christina, who, in 1869, married Robert Pringle, 
M.D., son of William Pringle of the family of Whitebank. 

3. Elizabeth Scott. 


He died on the 15th of January, 1868, when he was 
succeeded by his only son, 

XXI. John James Scott Chisholme, now of Stirches, 
an officer in the 5th Lancers, on active service in India. 


The heads of this Perthshire family were styled of Crom- 
lix, and sometimes of Dundorne. Cromlix is situated on 
the south-west borders of the county and in the tempor- 
ary of Dunblane. The founder of the House of Cromlix 

1. Sir Edmund Chisholm, who was the fourth son 
of Robert Chisholme, VII. of Chisholme, in Roxburgh- 
shire. This Robert was himself the third son of Sir 
Robert Chisholme, VI. of Chisholme, and brother of John 
and Alexander de Chisholme, VII. and VIII. of Chis- 
holme, both of whom succeeded their father, Sir Robert 
de Chisholme, as heads of the family, north and south. 
Sir Edmund came to Cromlix early in the fifteenth 
century and was soon afterwards knighted. His mother 
was Marion, daughter of Sir William Douglas of Drum- 
lanrig, ancestor of the Duke of Queensberry. He married 
first, Margaret Sinclair, a lady of the House of Dryden, 
and widow of Ramsay of Balmain, with issue — 

i. James, his heir and successor. 

2. A son, of whom nothing is known, unless the follow- 
ing refers to him. In the reign of Henry VIII. the 
Bishop of Dunkeld, writing to Thomas Magnus, the Eng- 
lish Ambassador, requests him to send Patrick Sinclair or 
Sir John Chisholm to confer respecting some matters of 
importance then under consideration. It has been sug- 
gested that this Sir John was Edmund's second son, and 
that the Sir in his case was simply the ecclesiastical 
dominus, as indeed it was in many other instances where 


the parties are supposed to have been knights, but where 
they were only a higher grade of priest. A John Chis- 
holm was Archdeacon of Dunblane in 1 541. He died 
in 1542. 

He married, secondly, Janet, daughter of James Drum- 
mond of Coldoch, a younger brother of John, first Lord 
Drummond, with issue — 

3. William, who afterwards succeeded his eldest brother 
in the Bishopric of Dunblane, and of whom presently. 

4. A son of whom no record can be found beyond the 
fact that he existed. 

By this lady he had also three daughters, one of whom 

5. Janet, who married Sir Alexander Napier of Merchis- 
ton, ancestor of the present Lord Napier and Ettrick, K.T. 
He fell at Flodden on the 1st September, 15 13, and left 
issue, an only son — Alexander Napier, who succeeded his 
father and carried on the representation of the family. 
She was thus the great-grandmother of John Napier, the 
inventor of Logarithms, who himself became united with 
the same family by marrying, as his second wife, Agnes, 
daughter of James Chisholm of Cromlix,* by whom he 
had five sons, who founded families of their own, and 
five daughters, all of whom were respectably married. 
Janet Chisholm married, secondly, Sir Ninian Seton of 
Touch and Tillibody, by whom she had issue — Sir Walter 
Seton, who succeeded his father and carried on the re- 
presentation of that ancient House.f The Cromlix family 
rose rapidly in power and influence. Its head was made 
hereditary Bailie and Justiciar of the ecclesiastical lordship 
of Dunblane, but whether this office was first conferred 
on Sir Edmund or on his successor is not clear. He 
was succeeded by his eldest son by the first marriage — 

* "He (Sir Alexander Napier) married Janet, the eldest daughter of 
Edmund Chisholme of Cromlix, the same family from which his great- 
grandson, the philosopher, took his second wife." — Life of Napier of 
Merchiston, p. 40. 

t Douglas's Baronage, p. 168. 



II. Sir James Chisholm of Cromlix, a man of great 
learning. He entered into holy orders and was made 
chaplain to James III. He, however, must have been 
married, and have had issue at least two sons. In i486 
Sir James was dispatched on a royal mission to Rome, 
when he made such an impression upon Pope Innocent 
VIII. that he appointed him to the See of Dunblane, 
which was then vacant, and in the following year he was 
duly consecrated Bishop of that diocese, a position which 
he occupied until he was compelled by old age in 1527 
to resign, in favour of his half-brother William, the more 
laborious duties of the office. He, however, retained the 
administration of the fruits of his benefice in his own 
hands until 1534, when he died, leaving a high character 
for probity and justice. He was a careful administrator 
and in all respects a good bishop. 

We shall now revert to Bishop William, Sir Edmund's 
eldest son by his second wife. He was appointed, in 
1527, by Pope Clement VII., and was consecrated at 
Stirling on the 14th of April, 1527, by Gavin Dunbar, 
Archbishop of Glasgow, Chancellor of Scotland ; George 
Crichton, Bishop of Dunkeld, and his own brother James 
Chisholm, Bishop of Dunblane. William had the title of 
"Administrator General " until the death of Bishop James 
in 1534, when the whole duties of the See devolved upon 
him. In 1554, he was appointed one of the Lords of the 
College of Justice, now known as the Court of Session. 
It was he who excommunicated the famous Wishart. He 
is described in Rankin's Chtirch of Scotland, pp. 334 and 
336, as "an ecclesiastic of the worst possible type for 
fornication, Church robbery, and persecution of the so- 
called heretics," as "a robber bishop," and "as a shameless 
wretch who wasted the See by fraudulent tacks to his three 
bastards and his nephew, and who burned men for heresy." 
He had a natural son, known as James Chisholm of 
Gassengal, on whom he bestowed a large portion of the 
property of his diocese. Being a stout upholder of the 
Roman Catholic Church, and an opponent of the Reforma- 


tion, he expected no favours under the new system, the 
establishment of which he foresaw had become inevitable. 
It was then he began to alienate the property of the Church 
to his nephew of Cromlix, who got the largest share of 
it, and to his own bastard son and two daughters. These 
ladies carried the property to their respective husbands. 
One of them, Jean, whose mother was a lady of the 
Montrose family, married Sir James Stirling of Keir, with 
issue. The other, about 1555, married, as his second 
wife, John Buchanan, eighteenth laird of that Ilk, with 
issue — an only daughter, who married Thomas Buchanan 
of Hert, Lord Privy Seal* 

Writing of this period and of the part this licentious 
prelate played in it, the Rev. Dr. James Rankin says — 
"The first element of the dispersion (of Church property) 
consisted in this, that for two or three decades previous 
to 1560 there went on a deliberate and unprincipled 
system of what was called dilapidation of Church pro- 
perty of all kinds. Bishops, deans, provosts, preceptors, 
abbots, and priors, forseeing danger to the Church, put 
their houses in order by giving leases to relatives and 
favourites on terms that amounted to robbery and breach 
of trust, called more politely dilapidation. Two of the 
most flagrant offenders were Bishop Patrick Hepburn of 
Moray, already mentioned with his thirteen concubines, 
seven of whom were other men's wives,f and Bishop 
William Chisholm of Dunblane, who enriched his three 
bastard children and his nephew, Sir James Chisholm 
of Cromlix, at the expense of the See. This knave 
compounded for his dishonesty by a double portion of 
zeal against heresy. In 1539 he and Beaton condemned 
five men to the flames at Edinburgh."! 

Tytler, under date of 1538-39, informs us that certain 
converts to the principles of the Reformation belonging 

* History of the Surname of Buchanan, p. 28. 

t Letters of Legitimation under the Great Seal of State were passed 
for no less than ten of this "holy" villain's children. 
% The Church of Scotland, pp. 426-427. 


to the inferior orders of the Catholic clergy, and whose 
names he gives, "were summoned to appear before a 
Council held by Cardinal Beaton and William Chisholme, 
the bishop of Dunblane. It gives us," he says, " a low 
opinion of the purity of the ecclesiastical judges before 
whom these early disciples of the Reformation were 
called, when we find the bench filled by Beaton and 
Chisholme, the first notorious for his gallantry and licen- 
tiousness, the second commemorated by Keith as the 
father of three natural children, for whom he provided 
portions by alienating the patrimony of his bishopric* 

William lived until 1564, but tired of the troubles 
which had arisen, he resigned the Episcopal chair to his 
nephew, another William, in 1561, as colleague and suc- 
cessor, which act was confirmed by a Papal Brief, dated 
the 2nd of June in the same year, and was nominated 
by Queen Mary in 1564. 

Bishop William the second had previously officiated as 
coadjutor of his uncle, and following his example dilapi- 
dated the remaining patrimony of the See. His principles 
got him into high favour with Mary Queen of Scots, by 
whom he was much employed in public affairs. Among 
other offices, he was appointed one of the Commissioners 
who procured and decreed the divorce of Bothwell and 
Lady Jean Gordon. The affairs of the Church kept him 
constantly employed in exciting work, for like all members 
of the Cromlix family, he was an active supporter of the 
Catholic party.f It was this prelate who had been sent 
to Rome to procure a dispensation from the Pope for the 
marriage of Queen Mary to Darnley. Under date of 
1565, Tytler writes — "It was now the end of July, and 
Chisholm, Bishop of Dunblane, having arrived from Rome 
with a dispensation for the marriage, it was intimated to 
the people, by a public proclamation, that the Queen 
had resolved to take to her husband an illustrious prince, 
Henry, Duke of Albany, for which reason she commanded 

* History of Scotland, f Keith's Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops. 


her subjects to give him the title of King." Bishop 
Chisholm was ultimately forfeited, upon which he retired 
to France, where he was appointed Bishop of Vaison, in 
Normandy, He, however, continued to take an active 
part in the affairs of the Scottish Catholics. In his latter 
years he seems to have become weary of the ceaseless 
intrigues of his former life, and resigning his French 
diocese to a nephew, a third Bishop William Chisholm 
out of the Cromlix family, he became a Carthusian friar 
of Grenoble, and died very advanced in years at Rome, 
in 1593. He was the last Roman Catholic Bishop of 

Regarding these bishops, Dr. William Marshall, in his 
Historic Scenes in Perthshire, pp. 343-344, says — "Three 
bishops of Dunblane were Chisholms of the Cromlix 
family. They held the bishopric successively for the 
eighty years immediately preceding the Reformation. 
The second of the three was William. He was passion- 
ately fond of song and music, and above all of the air 
called ' Clout the Caldron,' so much so that he used to 
say, that if condemned to die, he would go contented to 
the gallows, provided that his ears were regaled with that, 
his favourite spring. Discerning the signs of the times, 
he prepared for the coming overthrow of his Church by 
giving most of the revenues of his See to his nephew, 
Sir James Chisholm of Cromlix, and to a son and two 
daughters of his own, whom he, though a celibate, con- 
trived to have. Spottiswood says that he utterly ' wracked ' 
the benefice. He was succeeded by his nephew, also 
William, who followed in his uncle's footsteps, and still 
further alienated what remained of the Church's patrimony." 

Sir James married, with issue, at least two sons — 

1. Sir James, his heir and successor ; and 

2. William, who succeeded his uncle in the See of 
Dunblane in 1564, afterwards became Bishop of Vaison, 
in France, and died a Carthusian friar of Grenoble, at 
Rome, in 1593, as already stated. 

Sir James, the first bishop and second Chisholm laird 


of Cromlix, who died in 1534, was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

III. Sir James Chisholm of Cromlix, the nephew 
to whom his uncle, the first Bishop William, alienated 
a large portion of the Church lands of his diocese, shortly 
before the Scottish Reformation. On the 30th of Novem- 
ber, 1571, he is "delaited" for remaining "fra the Raid 
of Leith." He was, however, discharged by the Trea- 
surer.* In January, 1575-76, Sir James Chisholm, along 
with the Earl of Eglington, Lords Elphinstone and 
Livingstone, became cautioner that Sir Adam Gordon 
of Auchindown, brother of the Earl of Huntly, should 
enter and keep within ten miles of the burgh of Kirk- 
cudbright, and that he should behave himself dutifully, 
and refrain from any treasonable practices against the 
King, the realm, and the lieges, under a penalty of 
10,000 merks Scots. He married and had issue — 

1. James, his heir and successor. 

2. William, who succeeded his uncle William as the 
second Bishop Chisholm of Vaison. 

3. John Chisholm, who, in 1572, was by his party sent 
to France for a sum of money, "the quhilk he obteinit,' 
but on his return," arriving in the Firth of Forth, in July 
of the same year, the Regent ordered the vessels to be 
boarded and to have the passengers captured. John Chis- 
holm, however, " beforehand was landit with a great sowme 
of gold, and had delyverit the same to the Abbot of St. 
Colomb's Inche in keaping. The Lord Lyndesay was 
directit to searche (for) him on the land side, and he was 
quicklie apprehendit. There was fundin among his writtis 
a minute of the gold delyverit to John Chisholm, and the 
said John being examinat, and this minute shawn to con- 
front him, he was boisted with torture unles he sould tell 
whare it was ; so that for feir, he declarit and thus was 
the gold quicklie gotten and delyverit to the Regent."f 

* Pitcaini's Criminal Trials, part II., p. 28. 

t Pitcaini's Criminal Trials, and The History of King James the Sixth, 
Bannatyne Club edition. 


There is a fragment in the Cotton Collection of manu- 
scripts in the British Museum, dated 1587, which is 
described as "The Bishop of Dunblane his embassy into 
Scotland from Philip of Spain and Pope Sixtus V." There 
is nothing - in the document of any importance, but it ex- 
plains the Bishop's mission to Scotland at this particular 
date and in the following year, when he is referred to in 
a letter to Archbishop Beaton. In 1588 a communication 
is addressed to Beaton in which the writer laments that 
"the langsumness of Monsr. Cheisholm's tary ther hes 
doin evil money wayis and hes henderit you in particular 
greatly, for haid we either gottin the procuratioun or the 
obligatiouns, na doubt we had put maiteris to sum stand 
and certainly we haid retirit ane pairt of the dettis." Then 
he says that the creditors would wait "quhil we sie quhat 
directioun ze pleas to send haime to us be Monsr. Cheis- 
holme, whom we lang very meikle for." The writer 
proceeds — "The Bishop of Dunblane has almais bein 
continually seik sinss his in Scotland, and now being 
sumthing convalescit I think wald give his umest claith 
to be in the Charterous of Grenoble ! Suirly he is estemit 
ane verie honnest and discreit prelat, and is zour maist 
affectionate friend and weil willar quhomsoever they speak 
their pleasuir of him here in the cuntraith. He hes him 
very hairtily commendit unto zou and wald maist gladly 
be quhar ze ar. Sa wald I myself, as God judge me ! 
and wald give thryss the pryce of my voyage to heav 
ane dayis conference with you."f 

The same writer in the same year in a letter "to his 
very assurit friend, the guidman of Casseingie," the first 
Bishop William Chisholm's natural son, says — " I wryt 
not Monsr. Cheisholme, expressly luiking for his awin 
comming haim hourly. God send him weil hither for 
he hes been lang luikit for." 

John Chisholm's mission does not appear to have 
turned out of very great benefit to his friends. Sir 

t History of James VI., p. 52. 


William Maitland of Lethington, writing- to Archbishop 
Beaton, on the 28th of August, alludes to "the intercep- 
tion of Johne Chisholme" who had brought money to 
the Queen's party of which only "a small portion was 
put asyde and savit, quhan he and the rest was taken." 
Tytler says that in 1588-89, Bruce, a noted Jesuit, har- 
boured in Scotland, informed the Duke of Parma "of 
the seasonable arrival of John Chisholm, their agent, 
with the large sum entrusted to him," and of their having 
secured Bothwell, who, though still professing the Pro- 
testant faith, had been bribed to embrace their party. 
On the 24th of May, 1589, this John Chisholm, described 
as "son to umquhile James Chisholm of Cromlix," was 
indicted with Lords Huntly, Bothwell, Crawford, and 
others for intercommuning with Jesuits, receiving money, 
and raising soldiers.* 

Sir James has a process of slaughter raised against 
him three years after this date, for we find that, after 
long resistance, the Commendator of Inchaffray, and Lind- 
say of Kinfauns, on the 15th of January, 1592, became 
cautioners for "Schir James Cheisholme of Dundorne, 
knt, as principall, for himself and takand burdin far his 
haill kin, friends and surname," that they should observe 
the contents of Letters of Slains, dated the 25th of 
November, 1587, granted "to the chieff kinsmen and 
friends of umquhile Mungo Edmonstone," who had been 
killed at Stirling in 1585. On the 15th of February in 
the same year (1592-93), Cromlix was denounced a rebel 
for not appearing to answer an accusation "tuiching his 
practizing and trafficquing in sundrie tressonnable matteris 
agains the trew religion. "| Sir James was deeply impli- 
cated in the plans of the Catholic Lords, as they were 
called, and was exposed to prosecution along with them. 
For having offered to carry the " Blanks " to Spain, the 
Earls of Huntly, Errol, and Angus were accused of treason, 
on which occasion, in the same connection, Sir James 

* PitcairrCs Trials, f PitcairrCs Trials, p. 283. 


had to give a bond for his good behaviour in ;£io,000, 
and was allowed to remain in Scotland. He had cleared 
himself of the charge of having carried the letters to 
Spain, but as he did not reveal his knowledge of what 
the others were doing, and of their whole design he 
became subject to dittay of treason.* The lords and 
he were further pursued by the clergy of the Kirk, and 
were compelled to make an offer of sufficient security that 
they should give present obedience, and would hear any 
ministers appointed by the King, so that " efter ressoning 
they were throuchly resolvit" to adhere to the Kirk of 
Scotland; if not they agreed to "depairt furth of the 
cuntrie, thair to remane during his Majestie's plessour." 
They, however, did not give the necessary satisfaction. 
The Synod of Fife met in September, 1593, when they 
took into consideration " the impunity of that most 
monstrous, ungodly, and unnatural treason," of which Sir 
James and his friends were guilty by their attitude 
towards the Kirk. " The pride, boldness, malice, busy- 
ness, and going forward of these enemies in their most 
pernicious purpose " are severely condemned, arising, as 
it was said, "out of the said impunity and bearing with 
the King, so that now they not only have no doubt, as 
they speak plainly, to obtain liberty of conscience, but 
also brag to make us fain to come to their cursed 
idolatry, before they come to the truth." The Lords 
and Sir James were afterwards solemnly excommuni- 
cated, "quhilk," says the Rev. James Melville, "was done 
by my mouthe, Moderator for the time, and the quhilk 
God sa blessed that the haill Kirk of Scotland approvit 
the same, and the quhilk the Lord maid to be a speciall 
mean of preventing extreame danger of wrack of the 
Kirk and Commonweill of Scotland, and bringing of the 
enemies to forfaltrie and excyll."t ' 

On the 1 2th of October in the same year the King 
was riding to Lauder when the three Earls and Sir 
James Chisholm met him. They "cam on the hie way 

* Acts of Parliament, III., IV., Moyse, etc. t Melville's Diary, p. 207. 


at sik place and tyme as he bruikit not for," and upon 
their kneeling" down, His Majesty " usit sum few words 
unto thaym," but would allow them no other favour than 
a fair trial. He, however, issued a proclamation that, as 
they were to be tried, it should not be criminal to reset 
and entertain them, as it had for some time been, but 
the clergy would not relax their excommunication. In 
November, 1595, they were discharged by proclamation 
from the penalties of their defaults, provided they em- 
braced "the trew religion," kept a minister, and gave 
security, the earls in .£"40,000 each and Cromlix in 
.£10,000. They were allowed until February, 1596, to 
answer, and if they did not accept the terms offered 
to them, they were peremptorily charged to surrender. 
They did neither the one nor the other ; they were 
finally forfeited, and their " armories were riven in the 
Justice place in face of Parliament, and thereafter cassin 
out at a wyndo by the Heralds." Sir James Chisholm 
is not mentioned as having undergone this final degra- 
dation ; for he had in the meantime made his peace 
with the Kirk. 

On the 24th of June, 1595, during the eighth session 
of that august body, he submitted himself to the General 
Assembly at Montrose, where, according to Calderwood, 
Sir James "compeared in presence of the whole brethren, 
confessed with humility his apostacy from religion, for 
which he craved God's mercy ; declared he professed 
with us the true religion, renounced the Anti-Christ and 
all his errors, and craved from his heart to be received 
into the bosom of the Kirk. The Assembly concluded 
he should be relaxed, and thereafter the form of his 
satisfaction to be set down. So in the ninth session he 
was relaxed from the process of excommunication led 
against him, he humbling himself upon his knees and 
acknowledging his offence." Curiously enough, notwith- 
standing all these troubles, he was Master of the House- 
hold to King James VI., with whom he was personally 
an acknowledged favourite. 


In his Life of John Napier of Merchiston, the late 
Mark Napier gives a most interesting account of this 
period and of the part taken in its affairs by his own 
ancestor, who occupied a prominent position on the Pro- 
testant side, and by Sir James Chisholm of Cromlix 
(whose daughter, Agnes, John Napier of Merchiston had 
married as his second wife) on the Catholic side. Having 
described the loss of the Spanish Armada and the tran- 
quil state of the Kingdom in 1 590, after the King's 
marriage, our author proceeds : — " The loss of the In- 
vincible Armada had not entirely discouraged the King 
of Spain in his attempts against Britain ; and he met 
with secret countenance and aid from a few of the most 
distinguished persons in Scotland. In the very year after 
the destruction of the Spanish fleet, it appears that the 
Prince of Parma, Phillip's General commanding in the 
Low Countries, was in direct communication with a 
desperate faction in Scotland, of whom two of the most 
active and determined agents were Sir James Chisholm 
of Cromlix and his brother John Chisholm — the father 
and uncle of the lady to whom Napier was now united. 
His first wife, Elizabeth Stirling, died about the end of 
the year 1579, leaving him one son Archibald, the first 
Lord Napier, and one daughter, Jane. From among his 
own relatives, but from a family deeply dyed in scarlet, 
he took a second spouse in Agnes Chisholm, whom he 
married a few years after the death of his first. The 
ancient family of Cromlix, to which he was united by 
double ties, had shot forth a succession of Catholic bishops 
like stars from a Roman candle. The numerous progeny 
which he had by this lady were already considerably 
advanced, when a crisis arrived which must have been 
very appalling to the family at Merchiston. The Par- 
liament of June, 1592, had solemnly ratified the liberties 
of the Church, and the freedom of its jurisdictions ; but 
the Scotch clergy, like other successful sects, evinced a 
spirit of persecution which had not the effect of over- 
awing their opponents, and even rendered some of them 


more desperate. It was insisted that as the Reformed 
Religion had been constitutionally established, all who 
professed the Roman Catholic faith should be compelled 
either to embrace the Protestant doctrines, or suffer the 
pains of rigorous excommunication ; and that, after such 
delinquents had continued for the space of a whole year 
thus cast off from Christian society, their property should 
be forfeited to the Crown. This policy had been adopted 
against various individuals, and, in particular, George 
Kerr, a brother of the philosopher's class-fellow, Lord 
Newbottle, having refused to conform upon the requisi- 
tion of the Presbytery of Haddington, was excommuni- 
cated. David Graham of Fintry, and Barclay of Ladyland 
suffered the same sentence. 

" At this time Sir James Chisholm, who was the 
King's Master of Household, had fallen under no per- 
secution, and was not even suspected. Yet since at 
least the close of the year 1589, he had become deeply 
involved in a treasonable plot to aid Spain against Britain ; 
and various members of his family were amongst the 
most active plotters. His uncle, William Chisholm, the 
ex-Bishop of Dunblane, and now of Vaison in France, 
where he had been driven for his adherence to the 
Catholic cause and the fortunes of Queen Mary, was of 
great account among the Jesuits, and seems to have 
been the person through whom Sir James was seduced. 
The bishop's other nephew, John, was the party em- 
ployed to carry money from Spain to aid the cause in 
Scotland. This appears from the terms of a letter which 
fell into the hands of the Protestants after the plot was 
discovered. It is addressed by one Bruce, a Papist, to 
the Duke of Parma, written in French cypher, and 
dated from Edinburgh, 24th January, 1589. According 
to the translation made of it upon disclosure, it com- 
mences by informing the Duke that ' Monsieur Ches- 
holme ' had arrived in Scotland after a voyage of five 
days : that he instantly proceeded to the Earl of Huntly, 
and delivered letters from the Duke to that nobleman in 


his own house in Dunfermline on the 13th of October: 
the letter then acknowledges receipt by the hand of John 
Chisholm of ' sax thousand twa hundreth thre scoir twelve 
crounis of the sum, and thre thousand sevin hundreth 
Spanish pistolets ' from the Duke of Parma. The writer 
proceeds to detail the plans and resources of the Spanish 
party in Scotland, and adds, 'likewise I sail help myself 
by the prudence of Schir James Chesholme, eldest brother 
to the said John quha brocht the money from your hienes, 
for he is a man confident, wise, ane on our pairt, and 
very little suspect.' It appears, however, that some suspicion 
had arisen against the family at this time, for the same 
letter mentions, that one Thomas Tyrie had reported to 
King James that Bishop William had spoken with the 
Duke of Parma, very much to His Majesty's disadvantage, 
and that John Chisholm was also in close communication 
with his uncle the bishop. 

"Thus the celebrated plot of 'the Spanish Blanks' was 
organised ; and when nearly ripe, the person selected to 
fire the train, by carrying the treasonable papers abroad, 
was John Napier's father-in-law — the grandfather of his 
numerous second family. Probably that prudence which 
might have added success to the scheme had Sir James 
followed out the first plan saved him from so perilous a 
part in the conspiracy. George Kerr, finding it impos- 
sible to live in comfort or safety in Scotland under his 
sentence of excommunication, was on the eve of quitting 
the country, and it was finally arranged that the commis- 
sion should be transferred to him. While he was waiting 
for further instructions, near the island of Cumray, Andrew 
Knox, the minister of Paisley, acquired secret intelligence 
of the plot, and with a spirit and determination worthy 
the name he bore, proceeded with some armed men, 
and several Protestant gentlemen, on board of the vessel 
where Kerr was, and instantly seized him. Various trea- 
sonable letters and papers were discovered in the coat 
sleeve of one of the mariners. Graham of Fintry and 
Barclay of Ladyland were apprehended about the same 


time. This important intelligence reached Edinburgh 
upon a Sunday during divine service. The sensation 
was so great that the clergymen brought their sermons 
to a speedy conclusion, and exhorted the people to arm 
themselves immediately in order to insure the safe cus- 
tody of the prisoners These unfortunate individuals, 
escorted by a sort of national guard hastily got up 
among the townsmen, were lodged in the Tolbooth of 
Edinburgh. Meetings and solemn conventions of the 
ministers and well-affected barons followed, which at once 
alarmed and enraged the monarch, who ' was haistit from 
his pastyme sonar nor he thoght to have been.' His 
presence was the more necessary, that three earls, Huntly, 
Angus, and Errol, were deeply implicated — their signa- 
tures having been found to certain suspicious blanks among 
the papers ; and before the King's arrival in Edinburgh, 
the Earl of Angus had been carried a prisoner to the 

" A most disgraceful scene, not generally noticed by 
our historians, now occurred before the Privy Council. 
George Kerr would make no confessions ; and it was 
proposed to put him in the bootikins, an infernal instru- 
ment of torture, worthy of the most savage age of 
heathen persecution. The Justice Clerk, Sir Lewis Bell- 
enden, alarmed at the menaces of Kerr's friends, refused 
to comply ; but the monarch himself ordered the torture 
to proceed. The nature of it was to lacerate and crush 
the limb of the sufferer, by driving iron wedges between 
the shin bone and the iron boot, the interrogations being 
repeated at each successive stroke of the hammer. Kerr's 
fortitude was proof against the dreadful preparatives, and 
the first blow ; but upon the application of a second, he 
cried out for mercy, and said he would confess all. The 
substance of his deposition taken on the 13th February, 
1592-3, was — that in June, 1592, Sir James Chisholm had 
obtained from the Earls of Angus and Errol, in their 
own lodgings in Edinburgh, their respective signatures in 
French, as if addressed to the King of Spain, but with 


blanks above, to be filled up by one Mr. William Crichton, 
a Jesuit, as he pleased — that the other blanks produced, 
with their respective signatures, had been procured about 
the same time, and that Sir James Chisholm held secret 
conferences on the subject with David Graham of Fintry 
and the witness Kerr — that at first the noblemen impli- 
cated had agreed that Sir James, 'quha wes then ane of 
His Majestie's Maister Houshaldis, suld have gone to 
Spain with this commission, in respect he wes utherwise 
bounit towardis his uncle, Maister William Chesholme, 
callit Bischop of Dumblane, for Schir James had the 
first credeit of this erand with the nobillman,' etc ; but 
not being ready in time, and ' Maister George Kerr 
being bounit off the countrie, it wes thocht best that the 
same commission suld be gevin to him,' and ' he wes 
employed in that errand the rather because baith his 
gud-dames were Creichtouns.' The result contemplated 
was, that 30,000 men should land out of Spain on the 
West Coast of Scotland, march to Carlisle, and invade 
England, leaving 5000 Spaniards with the noblemen in 
Scotland to proclaim liberty of conscience. David Graham 
deponed to the same effect. On the 15th of February, 
the Earl of Angus made his escape from the Castle ; and 
upon the 16th, Fintry, more dead than alive, and cer- 
tainly the least guilty of all concerned, was beheaded at 
the Cross. But Kerr's life was spared, and he was sent 
to the Castle of Edinburgh, from which he too made his 
escape on the 20th of June following. 

"The most vigilant synod in the Kingdom, that of Fife, 
was summoned at St. Andrews on the 25th of September, 
1 593. Great excitement prevailed at this assembly, when 
it was determined that commissioners should be appointed 
from the separate estates of barons, boroughs, and clergy, 
' to declare freely to His Majesty the mind and resolution 
of all his godly and faithful subjects within the pro- 
vince, that they are ready to give their lives rather than 
suffer the same to be polluted with idolatry, and overrun 
with bloody Papists.' The Assembly then solemnly de- 


clared, 'that the principal and chief enemies, the Earls of 
Huntly, Angus, and Errol, Laird of Auchindoun, and Sir 
James Chisholm, have, by their idolatry, heresy, blas- 
phemy, apostacy, perjury, and professed enmity against 
the Kirk and true religion of Jesus Christ within this 
realm, ipso facto cut off themselves from Christ and His 
Kirk, and so become most worthy to be declared excom- 
municated, and cut off from the fellowship of Christ and 
His Kirk, and to be given over to the hands of Satan, 
whose slaves they are, that they may learn, if it so please 
God, not to blaspheme Christ or his Gospel,' etc. It is 
further added that ' the said Sir James Chisholm being 
one of the principal complices and devisers of their most 
malicious plots, the said Synod found that they had good 
interest and occasion to excommunicate and cut him 
off,' etc." 

On the nth of October following, a meeting of dele- 
gates was held in Glasgow which was convened "according 
to the bond made by our sovereign lord and his estates 
for maintenment of true religion." At this meeting "the 
noblemen, barons, gentlemen, and ministers of the various 
shires " present appointed commissioners, of which John 
Napier of Merchiston, Sir James Chisholm's son-in-law, 
was one, to meet at Edinburgh with commissioners from 
the other provinces of the Kingdom. They met there 
on the 17th of October, 1593. But "as Sir James Chis- 
holm was not subject to the jurisdiction of the province 
in which he had received sentence of excommunication, 
the first act of these commissioners was to ratify all that 
had passed, and then to ordain a proclaimation to that 
effect from the pulpit of all the Parish Churches on the 
following Sunday, which was the 21st. Our philosopher 
must have been particularly conspicuous at this convention, 
which confirmed the excommunication of his father-in- 
law; and his family, if they attended their Parish Church 
on the day appointed, heard their grandfather doomed 
to exclusion from the social comforts of life, and the 
blessings of the Church. The King was strongly opposed 


to these measures, and used his utmost endeavours with 
the Protestant barons and clergy in advance to prevent 
effect being- given to them. His efforts, however, proved 
unavailing, the result, on the contrary, being that a select 
committee was appointed by the Convention to watch 
himself, follow him wherever he went, and to lay before 
him, " in a personal interview, certain well-digested in- 
structions for the rebels, the safety of the Church, and 
the quieting of the public mind." This committee, 
composed of six members, including John Napier, at 
once sought an interview with His Majesty, but, on the 
1 2th of October, justfive days before the convention 
that appointed them, James, "harrassed by his clergy 
and haunted by witches, now dreading the King of 
Spain, and now in terror for the wild Earl of Bothwell, 
to whose harlequin treasons he was most unwillingly 
compelled to play pantaloon, was trotting at the head 
of his retinue to the Borders, with the temper of a 
goaded ox. Suddenly a most unwelcome apparition 
arrested his progress at Fala. The Earls of Angus, 
Huntly, and Errol, and Sir James Chisholm, had been 
hiding themselves among the mountains. Aware of the 
royal progress, they determined to extort some favour- 
able expressions from the King himself, and started up 
in his path on the highroad at the foot of Sontra Hill. 
Falling on their knees before him, they earnestly implored 
a fair trial, and that they should not be condemned 
unheard. The King, though favourable to the Popish 
earls, was very much alarmed for the interpretation that 
might be put on this audience, and refused to treat 
with them ; but, instead of ordering them into custody, 
he dismissed them without committing himself, and im- 
mediately sent a report of the whole matter, by the 
Master of Glammis and the Abbot of Lindores, to Queen 
Elizabeth's ambassador and the clergy in Edinburgh." 
The select committee overtook His Majesty at Jedburgh. 
His reply to their representations was a violent attack 
on the Synod of Fife for having presumed to excom- 



municate Sir James Chisholm, he being beyond the 
bounds of its jurisdiction. They, however, persisted in 
making their statement. The King refused to acknow- 
ledge the Edinburgh convention, which was constituted 
without his authority, nor the commissioners appointed 
by it. But after a lengthened discussion he agreed to 
receive and listen to them as subjects of the realm. He 
excused his reception of the three earls and Sir James 
Chisholm at Fala on the ground that they came upon 
him by surprise, and under circumstances in which the 
meanest of his subjects would, in such an humble attitude, 
on the highway, be entitled to secure attention from him. 
The conspirators were ultimately brought to trial. Our 
author says — " With increased dislike to his clergy, and 
a corresponding growth of favour towards the Popish 
conspirators, James brought them to a collusive trial, 
which had no other result than the well-known 'Act of 
Abolition.' This was in fact an acquittal under securities 
which, in those lawless times, were of very little value. 
They were absolved from all the consequences of the 
'Spanish Blanks,' upon condition that they were not to 
repeat such malpractices ; that those of them who em- 
braced the Protestant faith and discipline might remain 
in the country within certain appointed bounds ; that 
they should purge their households of Jesuits, and if 
they preferred a voluntary exile, were to become bound 
not to plot or practice against their country ; that the 
Popish earls should find security each in forty thousand 
pounds, and Sir James Chisholm and Gordon of Auchin- 
doun each in ten thousand." He adds in a foot-note — 
"The battle of Glenlivet brought this matter to a crisis. 
Upon the 8th of June, 1594, the Earls of Angus, Huntly, 
Errol, and Auchindoun (who was Huntly's uncle), were 
forfeited in Parliament. Upon the 3rd of October follow- 
ing, Huntly and Errol defeated Argyle and his High- 
landers, but Gordon of Auchindoun was slain, and the 
Popish earls could make no head against the King him- 
self, who immediately took the field against them, I can 


find no farther trace of Napier's father-in-law (Sir James 
Chisholm) after the Act of Abolition in which he is 
mentioned. He is not included in the Act of Forfeiture 
and sentence of treason passed against the rest, nor does 
he appear to have been at the battle of Glenlivet. Prob- 
ably the philosopher had persuaded him to accept the 
conditions of the Act of Abolition. His remains lie in 
a niche in the west wall, inside the nave of the church 
of Dunblane. His tombstone, executed in low relief, and 
exhibiting- in a mutilated state the family arms, has an 
inscription in relief, of which the following- words are 
legible : — Hie jacet honorabilis vir Jacobus Chisholme eques 
auratus de Dundorn."* 

Sir James married the daughter and heiress of Drum- 
mond of Innerpeffray, in the county of Perth, and by 
her obtained the lands and barony of that name. By 
this lady he had issue — 

i. Sir James, his heir and successor. 

2. Agnes, who, as his second wife, married the cele- 
brated John Napier of Merchistoun, the inventor of 
Logarithms, with issue — five sons, all of whom founded 
respectable families, and five daughters, who were all well 
married. " She was a great-granddaughter of James IV., 
her grandmother being the daughter of that monarch and 
his celebrated and ill-fated love, Margaret Drummond. 
Agnes Chisholm was the second cousin of the philosopher's 
(John Napier) first wife, Sir James Stirling of Keir having 
married a daughter of the prelatic concubinage betwixt 
the Bishop of Dunblane and the Lady Jean Graham, 
daughter of the Earl of Montrose. She was also the 
second cousin of his father, whose grandmother was Janet 
Chisholm of Cromlix."f 

Sir James, who died before 1598, was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

V. Sir James Chisholm of Cromlix, of whom little 
is known, except an interesting account of his courtship 

* Memoirs of John Napier of Merchiston, by Mark Napier, 
t Life of Napier of Merchiston, Foot-Note p. 157. 


and marriage. The Rev. William Marshall, D.D., in 
his Historic Scenes in Perthshire informs us that the 
fair lady who became Sir James' wife under the most 
extraordinary circumstances was " the beautiful and lovely 
daughter of William Stirling, brother of the laird of 
Ardoch," and that she is known in the local and tradi- 
tional history of the district as "Fair Helen of Ardoch." 
" She and Sir James Chisholm, the fifth of Cromlix, 
were much together in their childhood ; loved one an- 
other in their teens ; and pledged their troth to take 
one another as husband and wife, as soon as circum- 
stances would permit their union. To complete his 
education, or for some other purpose, the young knight 
was in the meantime sent for years to France. Before 
leaving he arranged for a regular correspondence with 
his love, without which even the temporary separation 
would have been intolerable to them. A friend, a young 
gentleman in the district, was, for certain prudential 
reasons, to receive the letters of both, which were to be 
enclosed to him, and was to forward them to their 
respective destinations. The arrangement wrought well 
enough for a season. By and bye Sir James' letters 
became less frequent. At length they ceased altogether. 
Helen's perplexity and distress can be easily imagined. 
She wrote him, complaining of his silence, but had no 
response. The confidant pretended to write him also to 
the same effect, but had no better success. He was not 
dead. No misfortune had befallen him. Helen learned 
that the family in Cromlix were constantly hearing from 
him, and had the best news of his health, and of his 
rising honour in France. What could she think in the 
jealousy of her love but that his heart had changed towards 
her, and that he was forgetting and forsaking her ? The 
confidant confirmed her worst suspicions and fears, alleg- 
ing that he had good information from France that the 
young knight had fallen deeply in love with a noble 
French lady, whom he was about to lead to the altar. 
" Having thus prepared for it, the scoundrel now pro- 


posed to Helen. Fortune had lately smiled on him. By 
the death of a relative he had come into the possession 
of a rich estate in lands and money. The friends in 
Ardoch were urgent that he should be accepted ; and, 
after much delay, and with great reluctance, Helen yielded 
to them. The marriage day came. The fair Helen, 
arrayed in her bridal attire, was pale as a corpse ; and 
the sighs she heaved, and the tears that stole down her 
cheeks, bespoke the anguish of her spirit. The nuptial 
knot was tied ; but a scene followed which baffles de- 
scription. The gay party had no sooner entered the 
banquetting hall than the bride, turning to the bride- 
groom, denounced him as the basest of villains. As if 
the dark plot, of which she had been made the victim, 
had been set before her in an instant in the light of 
noonday, he had, she cried out, betrayed the sacred 
confidence reposed in him. He had kept back her 
lover's letters. He had fabricated the story of his seeking 
the heart and hand of another. He had in like manner 
kept back her letters to her lover ; and had written him 
that separation had extinguished her affection for him, 
and that she wished him to think of her no more. 
Cromlix would yet appear to prove his constancy, to 
vindicate his honour, and to avenge the wrong that 
had been done to him and her. And as for herself, 
on no consideration would she for the present quit 
the protection of her father's roof. The company were 
astounded. Confusion covered the guilty man. He was 
speechless; shook like an aspen -leaf; and slunk away 
with his party, an object of unutterable loathing and horror. 
All that Helen said in her impassioned exclamations 
was soon verified. Cromlix, indeed, had already landed 
in Scotland ; he was hastening to Ardoch ; and not many 
days hence, they embraced with an ecstacy high in pro- 
portion to the depth of the misery which both had 
suffered. The unconsummated marriage with the villain 
confidant was dissolved. As soon as was practicable, her 
faithful lover and the fair Helen of Ardoch were united 


in the bonds of holy wedlock ; and they were the parents 
of the James and John whom we have mentioned as the 
last Chisholm lairds of Cromlix." 

A more extended version of the story is given in 
Heroines of Scotland, by Robert Scott Fittis, who says 
that "some secret whisper seemed to have reached the 
bride's ear " of her lover's arrival in Scotland, as she 
stood before the altar. "Young Cromlix had indeed 
landed in Scotland, the victim of sorrow and despair. He 
had been grossly deceived and slandered. He declared 
that after a short period of constant correspondence, he 
had written again and again, but no answer from Helen 
was returned, and the confidant on being applied to in- 
formed him that she had changed her affections, and 
desired that he should think of her no more. Smitten by 
Helen's charms, this man had suppressed the letters that 
he might cause a breach and supplant the favoured lover. 
On the homeward voyage Cromlix sought relief for his 
lacerated feelings by pouring forth his grief in a simple 
melody, which has survived for nearly three centuries, as 
a monologue of hopeless love," in the following terms : — 


Since all thy vows, false maid, 

Are flown to air, 
And my poor heart betrayed 

To sad despair, 
Into some wilderness 
My grief I will express, 
And thy hard heartedness, 

O cruel fair ! 

Have I not graven our lives 

On every tree 
In yonder spreading groves 

Though false thou be? 
Was not a solemn oath 
Plighted betwixt us both, 
Thou thy faith, I my troth, 

Constant to be? 


Some gloomy place I'll find, 

Some doleful shade, 
Where neither sun nor wind 

E'er entrance had : 
Into that hollow cave, 
There will I sigh and rave, 
Because thou did'st behave 

So faithlessly. 

Wild fruit shall be my meat, 

I'll drink the spring ; 
Cold earth shall be my seat : 

For covering 
I'll have the starry sky 
My head to canopy, 
Until my soul on high 

Shall spread its wing. 

I'll have no funeral fire 

Nor tears for me : 
No grave do I desire, 

Nor obsequies : 
The courteous redbreast he 
With leaves shall cover me, 
And sing my elegy, 

With doleful voice. 

And when a ghost I am, 

I'll visit thee, 
O thou obdured dame, 

Whose cruelty 
Hath killed the kindest heart 
E'er pierced by Cupid's dart : 
No grief my soul shall part 

From loving thee. 

Sir James, as we have seen, married Helen, daughter 
of William Stirling, brother of Stirling of Ardoch. Ar- 
doch's wife and Helen's mother was Margaret, daughter 
of Murray of Strewan, one of the seventeen sons of Sir 
William Murray of Tullibardine. In 1617, prior to which 
she was left a widow, James VI. paid Ardoch a visit while 


on his way from Perth to Stirling". The lady met his 
Majesty on the lawn, surrounded by all her family, dressed 
up, to receive the King with becoming- honour. His 
Majesty was struck with the number of children by which 
the Lady of Ardoch was accompanied, and he asked her 
— "Madame, how many are there of them?" "Sire," she 
replied, " I only want one more to make out the twa 
chalders." As a chalder contains sixteen bolls, she meant 
the King to understand that her children numbered thirty- 
one. It is said that James enjoyed the lady's remark ex- 
ceedingly, and that he afterwards paid her the honour 
of sitting down on a stone close by and eating a collop 
with her. 

By Fair Helen James Chisholm had issue — 

i. James, his heir and successor. 

2. John, who succeeded his brother James. 

3. Jane, who married her cousin, the Honourable 
James Drummond, second son of David second Lord 
Drummond. Her husband, the Honourable James Drum- 
mond, was raised to the Scottish Peerage on the 31st 
of January, 1 609, by the title of Baron Maderty, and to 
him she carried back the lands of Innerpeffray, which 
were her mother's portion as daughter and heiress of 
Drummond of Innerpeffray. It was through this marriage 
of Jane Chisholm, her mother's sole heiress, that her 
grandson, General William Drummond, Major-General of 
the Forces in Scotland and Lord of the Treasury to 
Charles II., and afterwards, on the 6th of September, 
1686, created Viscount Strathallan and Lord Drummond 
of Cromlix, inherited the Cromlix lands. 

Sir James married secondly, about 161 2, Margaret, third 
daughter of William, eighth Earl of Glencairn, with issue 
— a daughter, who, about 163 1, married the Earl of 
Lothian. | 

Anna Chisholm, " a daughter of the familie of Cromlix," 
married John Rose of Bredley, fourth son of William 

f Douglas's Peerage. 


Rose, XI. of Kilravock, and by him had issue — John Rose, 
who succeeded him in the lands of Bredley ; James Rose, 
who was a captain in the Earl of Irwin's regiment, and 
died in France in 1643, after the battle of Rockroy ; Cap- 
tain William Rose of Meft, and afterwards Provost of 
Nairn, who died on the 25th of November, 1678 ; Hugh 
Rose of Newton, who died in December, 1682 ; Alex- 
ander Rose, who had the sole trust of the Earl of Caith- 
ness' affairs about the year 166 1 ; and Harry Rose, who 
was alive in 1683-84. She had also by John Rose 
several daughters — Anna, who married Alexander Dunbar 
of Boath ; Marie, who married John Dallas of Budzet, 
Dean of Ross ; and Jean, who married James, a son of 
Mackenzie of Inverlael, and sub-Dean of Ross. Anna 
Chisholm died on the 31st of May, 1658.* 
Sir James was succeeded by his eldest son, 

VI. James Chisholm of Cromlix, who appears to 
have been married to a daughter of Sir Ludovick Hous- 
ton of that Ilk, and to have had issue — one son ; for 
we find a petition to Parliament, on the 5th of August, 
1641, from " Ludowick Chisholme onlie lawful son and 
appearand aer of umquhile James Chisholme of Cromlix," 
who, being a captain of foot in Lord Drummond's regi- 
ment, died at Kelso ; and the prayer of the petition is, 
that ward and marriage may be granted without composi- 
tion in the name of Sir Ludovick Houston of that Ilk, 
his gud-sire, and tutor testamentar. Ludovick seems to 
have died almost immediately after the presenting of this 
petition, for on the 22nd of September following we find 
John Chisholm, who describes himself as heir apparent 
of James, making a similar application.! On the 30th 
of January, 1647, an Act of Parliament was passed, re- 
ferred to as the "Act, Laird of Cromlix," but we have 
not ascertained its purport. 

James was succeeded by his brother, 

VII. John Chisholm, who, in 1661, was one of the 

* Kilravock Papers, pp. 82-83. t Acts of Parliament for 1641. 


commissioners for uplifting- ^40,000, a portion of which 
was ordered to be applied to the liquidation of a debt 
owing - to Lord Eglington on account of a fine laid on 
Chisholm of Cromlix several years before. In 1663 he 
was a Justice of the Peace. He appears to have been 
twice married, without issue, the second time, in 1661, 
to the Lady Creich in Fife, whose " marriage feast was 
held at Dunbough," on the 8th of August in that year.* 
He must have died before 1669, for in that year William 
Drummond, one of the Lords of the Articles, is designated 
"of Cromlix." 

This gentleman, better known as General Sir William 
Drummond, first Viscount Strathallan and Lord Drum- 
mond of Cromlix, inherited the Cromlix estates, as already 
stated, through his mother, Jane Chisholm. Thomas Hay, 
Earl of Dupplin, the sixth Earl of Kinnoul, who was a 
Commissioner for the Treaty of Union between England 
and Scotland, married Elizabeth, daughter of William, 
first Viscount Strathallan, and Lord Drummond of Crom- 
lix, who carried the Chisholm lands of Cromlix to her 

In 1855, Captain Arthur Hay-Drummond, R.N., third 
son of the tenth Earl, on the death of his elder brother, 
Captain Robert of the Coldstream Guards, from wounds 
received in the trenches before Sebastopol, succeeded to 
the property, and "assumed the surname and arms of 
Drummond of Cromlix and Innerpeffray," these estates 
having always been the "appanage of the second son of 
the Earls of Kinnoul," since the marriage of Eliza- 
beth, General William Drummond, Viscount Strathallan's 
daughter, to the sixth Earl of Kinnoul. 

From the marriage of Jane, daughter of Sir James 
Chisholm of Cromlix, to the Hon. James Drummond 
are descended, not only the Earls of Kinnoul and the 
Earls of Strathallan, but also the famous Drummond 
bankers of London, who have founded county families of 

* Lamonfs Diary. 


their own, and whose descendants formed marriage alli- 
ances with many of the leading aristocratic houses of 
England and Scotland. These now represent the Chis- 
holms of Cromlix and Dundorne in the female line, but 
it is no part of our present plan to carry the genealogy 


The following" are a few unpublished MS. notes referring 
to the Clan Chisholm, by the late Mr. James Logan, author 
of the Scottish Gael, supplemented, where indicated, by 
Mr. Colin Chisholm, Inverness : — 


The Chisholm carries, on a shield gules, a boar's head couped, 
or. Crest — A dexter hand, couped at the wrist, holding a dagger 
proper, on which is transfixed a boar's head of the second. Sup- 
porters — Two savages wreathed about the head and loins, and 
bearing knotted clubs, proper. Motto — above the arms, " Feros 
ferio," I smite the fierce animal. Feros, however, is more parti- 
cularly applied to a wild boar. Underneath is "Vi aut virtute," 
by strength or by worth. 

When Sutherland of Uuffus married Morella, sole heiress of The 
Chisholm, about 1400, azure boar's head erased were added to the 
armorial bearings. 

Cromlix being acquired by the Strathallan family, the boar's 
head was introduced in the arms, but it has been dropped by 
the Earls of Kinnoul. [The arms of Cromlix and Drummond of 
Innerpeffray were since, in 1855, assumed by Captain Arthur 
Hay-Drummond, R.N., second son of the tenth Earl of Kinnoul, 
on succeeding at the death of his brother, Robert, " to those estates, 
the appanage of the second son of the Earls of Kinnoul."] 

Hairhope carries, in chief a boar's head erased, and in base 
two crescents. Crest — A boar's head erased. 

Chisholm of North Shields, the same crest and motto as Chis- 


holm of London ; but the shield is azure, a boar's head erased, 


The Badge of the Chisholms has been said to be alder. This 
is not an evergreen, and consequently inappropriate. A better 
authenticated account assigns them the Rainneach or Fern, as their 


The Breacan or Plaid is classed among the red tartans, and 
shows a pretty arrangement of colours. 


The " Fear na Bratach," or standard-bearer of one clan, was 
by Celtic usage selected from another, or bore a different name, 
as with the Macgregors whose banner-men were Macphersons. 
That of the Chisholms was Ian na Bratach, who had carried it 
at Culloden, and survived long after the "affair of the '45." [His 
name was Macdonald. He afterwards emigrated to Canada.] 


The Piobaireachd or Gathering of the Clan is called Failte 
Siosalach Straghlais, being a Welcome or Salute. There is a 
traditional story applied to its origin which has also been applied 
to Macneil's March, and is allusive to the hospitality of the chief, 
who kept a table always spread for the entertainment of visitors. 
The pipers of the Chisholms were originally Camerons. There is 
a curious relic preserved from time immemorial at Erchless Castle. 
The story of this relic is told at pp. 73-74. The Chisholms were 
accounted excellent musicians, and the chiefs had often both fiddler 
and piper in their establishment, and two of these being contem- 
poraries were remarkable for having each had five wives ! 


Of the lands in Morayshire which formerly belonged to The Chis- 
holm, but have been carried off by intermarriages, are Quarrelwood, 
Clova, Clunie, Cantra, Kinstarie, Brightmonie, the Grieshop, Geddes, 
and several other lands in Strathnairn. Urquhart was in 1497, by 
decreet arbitral, adjudged to Rose of Kilravock, after a litigation 
with Mackintosh, and it is presumed the right was acquired through 
the marriage of Janet, heiress of Sir Robert Lauder, constable of 
the Castle of Urquhart, in 1354. Paxton in Tweeddale, which 


appears to have been in their possession before 1400, was carried 
to the Sutherlands of Duffus by the marriage of Morella. 


The estates in Rhindoun and Strathglass are the present pos- 
sessions of the family, with a portion of the Dabhach of Buntait 
in Gleann Urchadan. 

The country of the Chisholms is remarkably picturesque, of a 
truly Highland character. The woods have suffered much, and the 
district, which must have exhibited extensive remains of the Cale- 
donian Forest, is comparatively denuded. 

The fir used by Cromwell in the construction of the Citadel at 
Inverness was entirely the product of the pine woods of Strathglass 
and Glenstrathfarrar. The great wood of Afrig is now much de- 
nuded, but there are still considerable cuttings ; its former magnitude 
must have been nearly 20 miles in length and of proportionable 


There is a prevalent tradition of a battle in which the clan were 
engaged, but the exact period at which it took place does not 
appear. A laird of Chisholm having carried off a daughter of 
Lord Lovat, he concealed her in an islet in Loch Bruiach, where 
she was discovered by her father, who had come to the rescue. 
A severe conflict ensued, but the issue is not recorded. Numerous 
tumuli attest the sanguinary event, and a plaintive Gaelic song 
deplores the catastrophe, which was deepened by the death of the 
young lady, who was accidentally slain by her own brother in the 
confusion of pursuit. 


One of the clansmen having been put in the black hole at 
Beauly for theft, and condemned to death for some depredation by 
Lord Lovat, the Chisholms, determined to prevent a disgrace 
which would attach to the clan from a public execution of one of 
the tribe, went in a body and liberated their kinsman, carrying 
him off without detection. His grandson was accustomed, pro- 
bably as an acknowledgment of the debt of gratitude owing by his 
family, to carry to Erchless a portion of prepared barley, for which 
he never would accept the smallest remuneration. 


When the unfortunate Prince Charles was wandering in the 


mountains with a reward of ,£30,000 for his apprehension, his con- 
cealment and his actual preservation depended on three poor 
Highlanders who knew his retreat, and, eluding the vigilance of 
the military, carried to his cave the few necessaries they could 
procure. These three were the last that parted with him when he 
left Arisaig, and one of them Hugh Siosal (Maclea), after shaking 
the right hand of his Prince would never more give his own to 
any man. Finlay Macmillan and Kennedy were the other two and 
their names deserve to be recorded with the most magnanimous 
and high minded of mankind. 

[Mr Colin Chisholm informs us, on the lady's own authority, 
that "as an act of great condescension he (Hugh Chisholm) gave 
his right hand to Mary, the only child of his chief, The Chisholm. 
At the same time he took special care to explain to Miss Chisholm 
(afterwards Mrs James Gooden, of Tavistock Square, London,) that 
she was the first and would certainly be the last to shake hands 
with him after Prince Charles." The same gentleman says that 
" Kennedy, who fought in the battle of Culloden, was afterwards 
hanged in Inverness for stealing a cow ! Yet this unfortunate 
Highlander could have secured ,£30,000 for betraying his Prince."] 


There lived in the year 1567 a gentleman named Chisholm who 
was noted for his architectural knowledge. Queen Mary, anno 
1567, ratifies and approves a charter of infeftment to her " lovit 
servitoure Johne Chisholme, his aires and assignais." 

Among those members of the clan who have distinguished them- 
selves with credit may be mentioned one who is celebrated as as- 
sisting to improve the Wedgewood manufacture. 

In 1808 Mr Chisholm, an architect, died at Carlisle. He was 
a native of Aberdeen, and his biographer observes, " never did the 
grave close upon a man more useful, or more entitled to the esteem 
and reverence of his survivors." — Gentlemarts Magazine. 


As was customary of old, with chiefs, and great lairds, every family 
retained a fool or jester. One of the Chisholms was afflicted with 
bad legs so much that he was deprived of the power of walking 
and had to be carried about. When, one fine summer evening, he 
was carried to a couch placed for him in the garden, seeing his 
fool there he called him, in order to remain with him, for the pur- 
pose of keeping the flies off his legs. The fool carried a large 
stick in his hand, and seeing a swarm of flies resting on his 


master's leg, he suddenly aimed a blow at them, but to his astonish- 
ment, instead of destroying the flies, he nearly broke the chiefs 
legs, and threw him into a swoon. Thinking that he had killed 
his master, the fool ran away as fast as he could to the neighbour- 
ing wood. When the servants returned to the garden to take their 
master home, they were much alarmed to find him in such a pitiable 
condition. On coming to himself, he told them what the fool, who 
was nowhere to be seen, had done. A search was made, but when 
they were on the point of giving it up as fruitless, the fool, from 
the top of a thickly branched tree, bawled out — "Ye needna sirs, 
for myself has just got myself." Having decoyed him down, and 
expostulated with him on the injury he had done to his master, 
he said, " It was the flies that did it, not me.'' But in the end it 
turned out, as the story goes, that The Chisholm's jester was the 
best physician his master ever had ; for the decease in his legs 
disappeared altogether shortly after the sound slashes given them 
by Donald, the fool. — Colin Chisholm. 


In a contract of marriage, dated the 23rd of February, 1571-72, 
the following reference to the marriage of Bishop William Chis- 
holm's daughter, Jane, to Sir James Stirling of Keir, mentioned 

at page 195 of this work, occurs: — "Till all and sindry 

Archibald Naper of Edinbillie, Knycht, that albeit the Rycht 
Honorabill Sir James Striveling of Keir, Knycht, with consent 
and assent of Jane Cheisholime, his spouse, for fulfilling of ane 
contract of mairage maid betwix thame and Elizabeth Striveling ; 
thair dochter, on the ane part, and ane reverend fader in God, 
Adam, Bishop of Orknay, Commendator of Halyrudehouse, me 
the said Archibald and Johne Naper my sone and apperand air, 
on the uther part, for mairage to be maid and solmnized betwix 
the saidis Elizabeth and Johne Naper." — Memoirs of Joh?i Napier 
of Merchiston, p. 1 30. 


Albany, Robert, Duke of, 39. 
Armorial Bearings — 

Clan Chisholm, ic, 136, and 221-2. 

Clan Forbes, 10. 

Clan Mackenzie, 10. 

Bannockburn, battle of, 14. 

Batten, Edward Chisholm, 31 ; his marriage and issue, 99-100. 

Battle Abbey, Roll of, 3, 12, and 174. 

Beaufort Castle, 68. 

Biscoe, Thomas P. B., of Newton ; his marriage and issue, 90. 

Blar-nan-leine , 48. 

Brahan Castle, 57. 

Buchan, Alexander, Earl of, 15 and 20. 

Caithness, Harald, Earl of, 6, 12 ; his rebellions, 7; cruelties, and death, 8. 

Charles Edward, Prince, saved by Hugh Chisholm, 223-4. 

Corrie, Henry Valentine ; his marriage, 134. 

Culloden, battle of, 65, 75, 78, 139, 157, and 224. 

Chisholm; origin of the name, 4-6, 13, 174, 177, and 180. 

Chisholm, Clan, origin of, 1-2, 172-5 ; Caithness story of, 2-3, 31 ; settlement 

in Inverness-shire, 10, 11 ; armorial bearings of, 10, 136, 221-2; badge 

of, 222 ; clan banner, 222 ; piobaireachd, 222 ; lands of, 222-3. 
Chisholms of Strathglass, origin of, 1-2, 4, 6 ; settlement in Inverness- 

ness-shire, 10, 13-136. 
Chisholme, John de, I. ; his marriage, 13; and issue, 14, 175, 183. 
Chesholme, Richard de, Count of Roxburgh, II., 11, 13; his marriage and 

issue, 14. 175, 183. 
Chesholme, Sir John de, Count of Berwick, III., forfeited by Edward II., 

14; his marriage and issue, 15, 175, 176, 183. 
Chisholme, Alexander de, IV., his marriage and issue, 15, 181, 184. 
Chisholme, Sir Robert de, V., his marriage, 15, 17; refuses to pay multures, 

16; his issue, 17-18, 176-7, 184. 

INDEX. 227 

Chisholm, William de, Treasurer of Moray, 17-18. 

Chisholme, Sir Robert de, VI., 17, 18; appointed Sheriff of Inverness-shire, 
19; grants the lands of Diriebught, 19; his marriage and issue, 21, 
177, 178, 184. 

Chisholme, John de, VII., 21 ; his marriage, 23 ; and issue, 24, 178, 184. 

Chisholme, Morella, her marriage, 24-5, 178, 179. 

Chisholme, Alexander de, VIII., 19, 21; his marriage, 27; and issue, 36; 
his daughter's marriage contract, 36-8. 

Chisholme, Thomas de, IX., 36, 38; his marriage and issue, 39. 

Chisholme, Alexander de, X., 39; his death 40. 

Chisholm, Wiland de, XL, 39, 40; his marriage and issue, 41. 

Chisholm, Wiland de, XII., 41 ; storms Urquhart Castle, 43-4. 

Chisholm, John, XIII., 44; receives a remission from James V., 46. 

Chisholm, Alexander, XIV., 46 ; his marriage and descendants, 47-8. 

Chisholm, Thomas, XV., 48; appears in "The General Band," 50. 

Chisholm, John, XVI., 48, 50; his first marriage, 51; text of contract with 
neighbouring lairds for preservation of game, 5 2_ 4i his second marriage 
and descendants, 54-5. 

Chisholm, Alexander, XVII., 54; his marriage and issue, 55-6. 

Chisholm, Angus, XVIII., 55; his marriage, 56. 

Chisholm, Alexander, XIX., 55, 56; Erchless Castle taken, 57; his marriage 
and descendants, 58. 

Chisholm, John, XX., his marriage, 58; and issue, 59. 

Chisholm, Roderick, XXI., at Sheriffmuir, 59; text of address to George I., 
60; large part of estates forfeited, 61; text of letter to Marshal Wade, 
63; receives a pardon, 64; takes part in the Rebellion of 1745, 65; 
purchases Glasletter from the laird of Gairloch, 65-7 ; the draining of 
Loch Mulardich, 67-8; sanguinary incidents after the suppression of 
the Rebellion, 68-73; the "Black Chanter," 73-4; Roderick's first 
marriage, 75 ; and descendants, 75-8 ; his second marriage, 78 ; and 
descendants, 7^"9- 

Chisholm, Provost William, 75; his marriages and descendants, 76; elopement 
of his daughter Isabella, 76-7. 

Chisholm, Colonel Roderick Og, 77 ; killed at Culloden, 65, 78. 

Chisholm, Alexander, XXII. , 75, 79, 121 ; his first marriage, 80, 121 ; text of 
deed of entail, 80-8; issue by first wife, 88-91, 121 ; his second mar- 
riage, 91, 121; and issue, 91-2, 121. 

Chisholm, Captain Duncan, 80; curious obituary notice, 88-9. 

Chisholm, Alexander, XXIIL, 89, 92; his marriage and issue, 93, 121-2; in- 
scription on tomb, 94 ; his fine character, 94-6 ; elegies to his memory; 

Chisholm, William, XXIV., 91 ; his marriage, 99 ; and descendants, 99-100, 
his death and funeral, 101-3; first great Strathglass clearance, 125; 
second one in 1S10, 126-7. 

Chisholm, Alexander William, XXV., 99, 103 ; his education, 104; wholesale 
evictions in Strathglass, 105-8, 125 ; address by Canadiam Chisholms, 
108-12; Parliamentary career, 112; death and funeral, 113-4; his char= 
acter, 114-6. 


Chisholm, Duncan Macdonell, XXVI., 99; his military career, 116; his 
death, 118. 

Chisholm, James Sutherland, XXVII., his descent, I1S-9; his marriage, 119; 
disentails the estates, 119-20; his issue and death, 120. 

Chisholm, Roderick Donald Matheson, XXVIII., his death and burial, 120. 

Chisholm, James Chisholm Gooden, 47, 119; his descent, 121-30; Chis- 
holm of Chisholm, 130-3 ; his character and career, 133 ; his marriage. 
133 ; and issue, 133-4 i he applies to the Lord Lyon King-at-Arms for 
his arms and insignia, 135 ; the Lord Lyon's reply, 135-6 ; assumes 
the arms and adopts the name of Chisholm, 136. 

Chisholm, Mary, 93 ; protests against the Strathglass evictions, 122-3 ; chief 
and clansmen reunited, 123-4 > orders an obnoxious lawyer out of her 
mother's house, 127-8; protects a Glencannich tenant, 128 ; and pays a 
claim of damages on his behalf, 128-9; her marriage and issue, 130. 

Chisholms of Kinneries and Lietry, 137-47. 

Chisholm, Thomas, I. of Kinneries, 54; his marriage, 137; and issue, 138; 
inscription on his tomb, 138. 

Chisholm, Thomas Og, II. of Kinneries ; his sporting achievements, 138; his 
marriage and issue, 139. 

Chisholm, Archibald, III. of Kinneries ; his marriage and issue, 139. 

Chisholm, Colin, IV. of Kinneries and Lietry ; evades the Disarming Act, 
139; his first marriage, 139; and descendants, 139-41; his second 
marriage and issue, 141. 

Chisholm, Colin, V. of Kinneries and Lietry ; his marriage, 141 ; and issue, 

Chisholm, Captain Archibald, 141 ; his adventures in Africa, 142-3 ; letter 

announcing his death, 143-4. 
Chisholm, Colin, VI. of Kinneries and Lietry, 141 ; his marriage, 144 ; and 

descendants, 144-6. 
Chisholm, Colin, VII. of Kinneries and Lietry, 144; his patriotic conduct in 

London, 146-7 ; literary work, 147 ; his marriage and issue, 147. 
Chisholms of Knockfin, 149-64. 
Chisholm, Colin, I. of Knockfin, 56 ; deals extensively in cattle, 14S ; the 

battle of Glasbuidhe, 148-50 ; incidents during and after the fight, 

150-2; his marriage, 152; and descendants, 152-5. 
Chisholm, Archibald, of Fasnakyle ; his marriages and descendants, 152. 
Chisholm, Alexander, of Buntait ; his marriage, 152 ; and descendants, 152-5. 
Chisholm, Lieutenant-Colonel James, 143, 144 ; inscription on his tomb, 

154; his marriage, 154; obtains several commissions for his relatives, 


Chisholm, John, II. of Knockfin, 152 ; signs address to George I. after 
Sheriffmuir, 155 ; his lands saved from forfeiture, 155-6 ; his marriage 
and issue, 157. 

Chisholm, Colin, III. of Knockfin ; a suitor for the hand of Miss Macdonell 
of Ardnabee, 157; he fights a duel, 157-8; how he won another lady 
for his bride, 158 ; his marriage, 158 ; and descendants, 158-61. 

Chisholm, Valentine ; his great age, 158 ; dances a reel when over ninety, 
159; his marriage 159; and descendants, 159-61. 

INDEX. 229 

Chisholm, Colin, IV. of Knockfin, 158 ; his first marriage, 161 ; and descen-. 

dants, 161-2 ; his second marriage and issue, 162. 
Chisholm, John, V. of Knockfin ; his first marriage, 162 ; and descendants, 

162-3 ; his second marriage and descendants, 163. 
Chisholm, Colonel John, VI. of Knockfin, 162; his marriage, 163; and issue, 

Chisholm, Colonel William, VII. of Knockfin, 164. 
Chisholm, Theodore; His Family, 165-7. 
Chisholm, Theodore, I., 58; his marriage and issue, 165. 
Chisholm, John, II., his marriage and issue, 165. 

Chisholm, Theodore, III., his marriage, 165; and descendants, 165-7. 
Chisholm, John, IV., 165 ; his marriage and issue, 167. 
Chisholm, Theodore, V., heir male of the Chisholms, 167, 170-71. 
Chisholms of Muckerach, 168-71. 
Chisholm, Alexander, I. of Muckerach, 59; obtains possession of the forfeited 

Strathglass estates, 61-2, 64, 79-80, 118; his marriage, 118, 168; and 

issue, 168. 
Chisholm, Captain John, of Fasnakyle, his marriage and issue, 1 18, 168. 
Chisholm, Archibald, II. of Muckerach, his marriage, 1 18, 168; and issue, 

118-9, 169. 
Chisholm, Roderick, III. of Muckerach, 118; his marriage and issue, 119, 169. 
Chisholm, James Sutherland, IV. of Muckerach, 169 ; succeeds to the family 

estates and chiefship, 170 ; his marriage and issue, 170. 
Chisholm, Roderick Donald Matheson, V. of Muckerach, his early death, 170. 
Chisholmes, The Border, 172-91. 

Chesholme, Robert de, VIII., 21, 179, 184 ; his marriage and issue, 179, 187. 
Chisholme, John, IX., 1S7. 
Chisholme, Robert, X., 187. 
Chisholme, George, XL, 187. 
Chisholme, Walter, XII., 188. 
Chisholme, Walter, XIII., his marriage, 188. 
Chisholme, Walter, XIV, 188. 

Chisholme, Walter, XV., his marriage, 188 ; and issue, 1S8-9. 
Chisholme, William, XVI., 188; his marriage and issue, 189. 
Chisholme, John, XVII., his marriage, 189; and issue, 1S9-90. 
Chisholme, John, XVIII., his marriage and issue, 190. 
Chisholme, Gilbert, XIX., his marriage and issue, 190. 
Chisholme, John Scott, of Stirches, XX., his views on the origin of his clan, 

12, 172-81 ; his marriage and issue, 190. 
Chisholme, John James Scott, of Stirches, XXI., 190, 191. 
Chisholms of Cromlix and Dundorne, 192. 
Chisholm, Sir Edmund, I. of Cromlix, his first marriage and issue, 192-3 ; 

his second marriage and issue, 193. 
Chisholm, Sir James, II. of Cromlix, 192 ; appointed Bishop of Dunblane, 

194; his marriage and issue. 197. 
Chisholm, William, Bishop of Dunblane, 193 ; his character, 194-6. 
Chisholm, William, Bishop of Dunblane, succeeds his uncle, William, 196 ; 

employed by Mary Queen of Scots, 196-7. 


Chisholm, Sir James, III. of Cromlix, 197 ; his marriage and issue, 198. 

Chisholm, John, obtains money from France for Queen Mary, 198 ; details of 
his embassy, 199 ; and its result, 200, 203-11. 

Chisholm, Sir James, IV. of Cromlix, denounced rebel, 200; and excommuni- 
cated, 201 ; submits to the General Assembly, 202 ; his marriage and 
issue, 211. 

Chisholm, Sir James, V. of Cromlix, 211 ; his romantic courtship, 212-4 ; 
poem to his lady-love, 214-5 > ^ s fi rst marriage, 215 ; and issue, 216 ; 
his second marriage and issue, 216. 

Chisholm, James, VI. of Cromlix, 216 ; his marriage and issue, 217. 

Chisholm, John, VII. of Cromlix, 216-7 ; his marriages, 218. 

Drummonds of Cromlix, 216, 218-9. 

Duffus, Alexander, Baron of ; his marriage, 24 and 25. 

Dunbar, battle of, 33. 

Elgin Castle, 17. 

Erchless Castle, 57 and 115. 

Flodden, battle of, 193. 

Forbes, Clan ; armorial bearings of, 10 ; origin of, 34-5. 

Forbes, Lord President, 65. 

Fraser, Colonel Alexander, of Culduthel ; his marriage and descendants, 78-9. 

Fraser, Sir Andrew, 29. 

Fraser, Hugh, of Belladrum, 52 and 57. 

Fraser, Hugh, of Culbokie, 52. 

Fraser, Hugh, of Dunballoch and Newton ; his marriage and issue, 89-90. 

Fraser, Hugh, of Guisachan, 47, 49, and 50. 

Fraser, James, of Phoineas, 48. 

Fraser, Patrick, of Fingask ; his daughter's marriage, 118 and 168. 

Fraser, Thomas, of Strichen, 52. 

Fraser, Thomas, of Struy, 52. 

Fraser, William, of Culbokie, 56. 

Fraser, William, of Struy, 47. 

Freskin of Sutherland, 7 and 9. 

General Band, The, 50. 

George I. , 59 ; address to, 60 and 155. 

Glenlivet, battle of, 210 and 211. 

Gordon, Alexander, Lord, 41. 

Grant, Colonel James Augustus ; his marriage and issue, 78. 

Grant, John, VI. of Glenmonston ; his daughter's marriage, 158. 

Grant, Patrick, IV. of Glenmoriston ; his daughter's marriage, 152. 

Haliburton, James, of Gask, 44. 
Haliburton, Walter ; his marriage, 40. 
Halidon Hill, battle of, 24, 30, 178. 
Huntly, Alexander, Earl of, 43. 

INDEX. 231 

Huntly, George, Earl of, 41 ; text of Commission of fire and sword against 
Clan Mackenzie, 42. 

Killiecrankie, battle of, 57. 

Lauder, Sir Robert, of Quarrelwood, 10, 15, 17, 20, and 176. 

Leod, Castle, 57. 

Lovat, Hugh, Lord, 44, 45, 48, and 55. 

Lovat, Simon, Lord, 51 and 55. 

Mar, Earl of, 59 and 156. 

Margaret de la Ard, 31, 38, 43, and 177. 

Mary Queen of Scots, 46 and 196. 

Matheson, John, V. of Fernaig and Attadale; his daughter's marriage, 118 and 

Melrose, battle of, 188. 

Middleton, Robert Marshall ; his marriage, 134. 
Moravia, Alexander de, of Culbin, 18 and 38. 
Moray, James, Earl of, 47. 
Moray, John, Randolph, Earl of, 15 and 17. 
Moray, Thomas, Earl of, 38 and 39. 
Macdonald, ^Eneas, VII. of Glengarry, 47. 

Macdonald. John, XI. of Glenalladale ; his daughter's marriage, 162. 
Macdonell, Alastair Dubh, XI. of Glengarry ; his daughter's marriage, 75. 
Macdonell, Duncan, XIV. of Glengarry ; his daughter's marriage, 99. 
Mackenzie, Clan ; armorial bearings of, 10 ; pursued as rebels. 41 ; text of 

Commission of fire and sword against them, 42. 
Mackenzie, Alexander, III. of Ballone; his daughter's marriage, 161. 
Mackenzie, Sir Alexander, IX. of Gairloch, 65-7. 
Mackenzie, George, II. of Allangrange ; his daughter's marriage, 91. 
Mackenzie, Sir George, of Rosehaugh, 23. 
Mackenzie, John Glassich, II. of Gairloch, 48 and 50. 
Mackenzie, John, IX. of Kintail, 49. 

Mackenzie, Sir Kenneth, I. of Coul ; his marriage and descendants, 58. 
Mackenzie, Kenneth, X. of Kintail, 47. 

Mackenzie, Sir Kenneth, IV. of Scatwell ; his daughter's marriage, 78. 
Mackenzie, Murdoch, II. of Redcastle ; his daughter's marriage, 56. 
Mackenzie, Roderick, I. of Applecross ; his daughter's marriage, 58. 
Mackenzie, Roderick, IV. of Applecross ; his daughter's marriage, 80. 
Mackenzie, Roderick Mor, I. of Redcastle ; his daughter's marriage, 137. 
Mackenzie, Roderick, II. of Scotsburn ; his marriage and issue, 90-1. 
Mackintosh, John, IX. of Kyllachy; his daughter's marriage, 76. 
Mackintosh, Lachlan, VIII. of Mackintosh ; his daughter's marriage, 39. 
Maclean, Ewen, of Ardgour ; his marriage, 41. 

Napier, Sir Alexander, of Merchiston ; his marriage and issue, 193. 
Napier, John, of Merchiston ; his marriage and issue, 211. 
Neville's Cross, battle of, 15 and 176. 


Otterbum, battle of, 187. 

Preston, battle of, 188. 

Ragman's Roll, 11, 13, 14, 33, and 176. 

Robertson, Major William, of Kindeace; his marriage and issue, 91-2. 

Rose, Alexander, of Cantray, 54. 

Rose, Hugh, IV. of Kilravock, 21 ; his marriage contract, 22-3, 177. 

Rose, John, VII. of Kilravock, 23. 

Rose, William, of Clava, 54. 

Ross, Alexander of Balnagown, 47. 

Ross, David, of Balnagown, 42. 

Roxburgh Castle, 7. 

SherifTmuir, battle of, 59, 139, and 155. 

" Spanish Blanks," the affair of the, 203-11. 

Strathearn, Malise, Earl of, 27, 28, 29, and 30. 

Sutherland John, Earl of, 46. 

Sutherland, Robert, Earl of, 18 and 38. 

Trinder, Arnold ; his marriage and issue, 134. 

Urquhart Castle, 11, 15, 19, 22, 34, 35, 38, 44, and 176. 
Urquhart, Alexander, Sheriff of Cromarty, 47. 
Urquhart, William, of Berriedale, 25. 

Waddington, Henry William, French Ambassador, 76. 
" Wolf of Badenoch," the, 15, 18, 20, and 38.